Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cities Literate

A study by Central Connecticut State University names Minneapolis America's most literate city for 2007, up from second place in each of the two previous years and replacing Seattle, former champion.

Washington, Atlanta and Pittsburgh also lost ground in the annual rankings, while St. Paul, Denver, St. Louis, San Francisco and Boston all moved up and are now rated more literate.

When it comes to bookstores per 10,000 population, though, Seattle is still tops, followed by San Francisco, Minneapolis and Cincinnati.

Here's the full 2007 Literary Top 10:

1. Minneapolis, MN

2. Seattle, WA
3. St. Paul, MN
4. Denver, CO
5. Washington, DC
6. St. Louis, MO

7. San Francisco, CA
8. Atlanta, GA
9. Pittsburgh, PA
10. Boston, MA

Click here for the top 69 on the list and for links to other breakdowns, including by newspaper circulation, education level and library resources.

Are you a writer living in one of the top literate cities? Does a good city for readers mean a good city for writers?

If you're not in one of those cities, how do you think your city rates -- for readers and for writers? Would you consider moving to a more "literate" city?


Robert McKay said...

I'm a writer living in the Seattle area and I think that it definitely helps that so many people are literate here. I think the bookstores are a great help as well. When you're a writer it's constant motivation when you see your goal on every corner.

Mark David Gerson said...

I couldn't agree more. If a city supports many bookstores it must have many readers...hungering for more books...including yours!

Charlotte said...

I live in Spartanburg South Carolina, which has its own small press, Hub City. It publishes about Spartanburg. There used to be an independent bookstore here, but now everyone goes to B&N to hang out.

Yet you can hardly turn over a rock without finding a writer. Readers, on the other hand, are much more scarce.

Holly Tucker said...

Even the least literate places can have amazing in point, Nashville TN. The downtown library is a wonder to behold.

And thanks for the post--I got glasses at 18 months, so I know exactly what you're saying!


Mark David Gerson said...

Charlotte: Sounds like writing in Spartanburg is an export business!

Holly: I'm also a big library fan.

Mainframeguy said...

I'm not sure what to say - having visited Minneapolis and travelled over to St Pauls I did think it was one of the cooler places (in every sense), but if it comes so high in the literacy stakes I cannot help but wonder what it is like being in the least! Then again, how on earth can you truly measure such a thing? I do not think you can. Let everyone read and make the world a library (I sound like a BookCrossing slogan now!).

Mark David Gerson said...

Thanks, Paul (mainframeguy). Getting everyone to read, regardless of where they live, is the best advice!