Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Amazon lists most well-read cities — Florida well-represented

Clearwater made it No. 18 in the country.

Posted By on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM

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Are you aware that Florida is one of the most well-read states in the U.S?

Amazon.com just released the statistics for 2014: Five Floridian cities, including Clearwater, are amongst the top 20 cities, of 100, 000 residents or higher, that bought the most books, magazines and newspapers through Amazon.com between April 2013 and April 2014.

Alexandria, Va., got on top of Miami for 1st place – no surprise there, after all it is Alexandria’s third year in the first place spot  However, Florida is well represented in the top 20. Orlando came in at number five; Gainesville ranks at No. 16; Clearwater at 18; and Tallahassee rounded out the list with 20th place.

For the most part, this is great news. I mean, we love the fact that we are all over a literate top 20. But here’s my critical perspective: and don’t hate me for it.

First of all, some of these cities, if not all, are all close to a college, or two (FSU, UF, USF, Eckerd, etc). This means that students may be buying textbooks, are not necessarily the latest issue of the New Yorker or Art Papers, which, again is not truly a bad thing.

But this also tells us that textbooks are not readily available and cheap enough on campus and in nearby locations. Second of all, and in my experience, there are very few local quality bookstores. Don’t get me wrong; Clearwater is not very far from Haslam's or Mojo, and Miami hosts one of the biggest International Book Fairs in the country.

But when you simply don’t want to go for the long commute, or you were told that what you’ve been looking for is not available, then Amazon.com is your last resort. Well, actually Barnes & Noble is sort-of your last resort, but honestly though, to those who are looking for specific books, magazines and newspapers, Barnes & Noble doesn’t really cut it sometimes. Occasionally you get lucky, though.

It is no coincidence that cities like New York and Chicago are not on the list.

According to Miami New Times, the statistics don’t just portray these Florida cities as the most well read. For the most part it means that Floridians buy more reading materials from Amazon, rather than their local bookstores. It's hard to beat the convenience of downloading a novel to your iPhone, or Kindle — but what else can you do when what you are looking for is not readily available in its physical form?

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