Sunday, May 29, 2011

Do They Read The Same Things?

Amazon.com has developed a list of the "20 Most Well Read Cities."  Cambridge, Massachusetts  tops the list.  Berkley, California is third.  Salt Lake City, Utah is third.  College towns dominate the list.  I suspect that fact skews Amazon's results a bit.

Amazon should have released more information, especially books that residents of each city read.  Do people is Berkley read the same books as people in Salt Lake?  Do people in Pittsburgh which comes in 13th read the same books as people in Atlanta which was ranked 20th.  How about 19th ranked Portland citizens and 18th ranked Cincinnati residents?  Do some areas read more fiction than others?

Given that Republicans and Democrats watch different television programs for both news and entertainment, it seems unlikely they would read the same books.  Further, conservatives have their own book club; progressives have theirs as well.  I suspect that frugal people will look at recommendations from each list and order from Amazon for bargains.

Part of my curiosity is merely curiosity, but reading is a major source of one's ideas.  Ideas have consequences and should be debated. Groupthink, large or small, is dangerous.  In other words, the New York Times bestseller list shouldn't be required reading, but if one region or political group limits itself to reading only conservative or liberal books, there's no way that ideas can be debated.

No comments: