Miami Is the Second Best Read City In the Country, Amazon Says

So people in Miami are stupid, huh? Miamians aren't educated, eh? People in this city are barely literate, you say?

Sit down, haters. Amazon.com begs to differ.

The online retailer (which, old folks may remember, once primarily sold books) has ranked Miami at number two in its annual list of best-read cities.

The annual rankings are based on sales of books, magazines, and newspapers through Amazon, in both print and Kindle format, between April 2013 and April 2014. The ranking assessed cities with 100,000 residents or higher.

Alexandria, Virginia, edged out Miami for the top spot -- no surprise, as it's that city's third year in first place. But Florida's well represented in the top 20. Orlando came in at number five; Gainesville ranks at number 16; Clearwater at 18; and Tallahassee rounded out the list at 20th place.

Of course, it's not surprising that Miamians read. This city is home to one of the biggest book fairs in the country, and hosts book events almost every single day. The O, Miami Poetry Festival finds new ways to expose the average South Floridian to the written word in each of its incarnations. And plans for a new publishing house in town point to further development of Miami's literary scene.

In fact, Miami's second-place finish on this list is kind of a downer. It doesn't mean Miamians read more than people in other cities; it only means that Miamians 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, but showing up and browsing the shelves at, say, Books & Books, or trading your stuff at Bookleggers, or buying a poet's book at an O, Miami event helps those businesses continue to stage literary events. You might even have a meaningful conversation with a fellow reader in the process.

Not that there's anything wrong with reading stuff on a screen. Especially if it's, um, this blog. Hey, we're local!

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