News & Politics

Washington Is Amazon’s Third-Most “Well-Read City,” According to How Much We Buy From Amazon

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Washington is the third-most “well-read city” in the United States, Amazon announced Tuesday. That’s two spots higher than last year’s rankings, which put DC in fifth place.

The most well-read city for the second consecutive year was Seattle, where Amazon is based, followed by Portland, Oregon. Amazon publishes the list every year, with the rankings based on how many books, magazines, and newspapers—printed and digital—it sells per capita to cities with populations greater than 500,000. Seattle ranked first for print and Kindle purchases of books, newspapers, and magazines, Amazon says.

Still gone from the list is Alexandria, which held the top spot from 2012 to 2014. But Alexandria disappeared from Amazon’s rankings last year when the online-commerce giant changed its methodology from cities above 100,000 residents to cities with at least half a million denizens.

What, exactly, are DC’s bookish types reading? Amazon does not say, although there are plenty of insights about other cities’ habits: Paula Hawkins‘s The Girl on the Train—aka the “new Gone Girl“—was Amazon’s best-selling print and Kindle book in five of the top 20 cities, while anti-clutter guru Marie Kondo‘s The LifeChanging Magic of Tidying Up was the most-sold print title in four cities, including Seattle and San Francisco. No. 6 Las Vegas could not get enough of E.L. James‘s rewrite of Fifty Shades of Grey as told from Christian Grey’s perspective.

Perhaps DC’s Amazon purchases were just too dull to stand out, but at least they were voluminous.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.