Friday, May 27, 2011

And the best-read city in the Carolinas is...not Charlotte

One city in the Carolinas is on's new list of the nation's best-read cities.
Can you guess which one it is?
Here's a hint: College towns did well in this contest.
So you might think Chapel Hill. But no. Cities had to have a population of 100,000. It's too small.

I would have guessed Raleigh or Durham. Nope.

The answer: Columbia, home of the University of South Carolina, was 16th on the list of 20 cities.

My family was puzzling about this at dinner last night. Why Columbia and not Raleigh or Durham, both with large numbers of college students and faculty?

My husband offered a plausible explanation: Columbia, with a population of about 130,000, is much smaller than the other two. So college types are a larger percentage of the city's overall population. Don't you love him? He was a math major.

Cambridge, Mass., by the way, topped the list of 20 cities that purchased the most reading material from Amazon (Kindle and paper form) per capita since January.