May 17, 2012 / 7:23 AM / 6 years ago

Virginia, Florida have most well-read cities in U.S.: poll

A girl reads in an aisle at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in a town in Virginia, August 24, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York and Boston may strike many as more intellectual but Alexandria, a small urban area in Virginia just outside Washington, D.C., is the most well-read city in the United States.

Alexandria was one of three Virginia cities on the list of the 20 most well-read cities. It topped Cambridge, Massachusetts, the home of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Berkeley, California to take the top spot.

Ann Arbor in Michigan and Boulder, Colorado rounded out the top five, while Miami, Florida, which is better known for its balmy climate, enticing beaches and nightlife came in sixth.

“It’s great to see that we are truly a nation of readers, with representation on this list from every region of the country,” Chris Schluep, senior editor of books for, said in a statement announcing the results.

The online retailer compiled the list of the 20 most read cities with populations of more than 100,000 residents using sales data on books, magazine and newspaper and eBooks since June last year.

Arlington and Richmond, both in Virginia, also made the ranking, along with Washington, D.C., which placed ninth on the list. Florida had two other bookish cities — Gainesville, which came in eighth and Orlando, which ranked 14th.

When Amazon took a closer look at the types of books people were reading it found that residents of Boulder were the most health conscious with an emphasis on health, fitness and diet books but people living in Berkeley ordered the most travel books.

Alexandria is a city of romantics and locals living in Cambridge were most interested in business and investing books.

Reporting by Patricia Reaney, editing By Christine Kearney

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