Amazon has issued its third annual list of the most well-read cities in America. Alexandria,
Virginia, wins top honors, which is commendable, but what got our attention was the
information buried in the third paragraph of the release: “Gone Girl was the best-selling book overall in Alexandria, Va., followed by the three titles
Fifty Shades trilogy.” Hmm. That’s a lot of steamy reading for the historic city, whose slogan
is “the perfect escape.”
Amazon says the list counts sales on a per capita basis in cities of more than 100,000
residents, excluding New York, Los Angeles, and a few other cities that still have
lots of bookstores. Listed last year but out of the top 20 this year is Washington,
DC. No cities in Maryland made the list. Rounding out the top five are Knoxville,
Tennessee, Miami, Florida, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Orlando, Florida.
We’ll leave it to the armchair psychiatrists to analyze what this means, but from
now on when we notice a little steam rising on the Alexandria horizon, we will see
it with new eyes.