Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The results are in

Happy new year, folks.

So a quick post to mention a piece from today's email edition of Shelf Awareness, on America's most literate cities. Click the link, it's interesting stuff. It seems Dr. Jack Miller of Central Connecticut State University compiled the list - the info is on the homepage.

Nothing shocking when it comes to beantown, as tourists call it. While the overall rank for our fair city is 10th place, our ranking for booksellers is nothing short of disastrous - and humiliating. Yes, folks, keep clicking and you'll find that Boston ranks 48.5 in the number of bookstores per 10,000 people. That is pathetic. And yes, we can weep and moan about the giant Borders in Downtown Crossing and the new one in the Back Bay and the Barnes & Noble in the Pru. It's true - they are huge and we all use them. But as a Boston resident, who lives in the city itself, I'm always frustrated by the lack of any indie bookstore. Can't we at least get a book version of Newbury Comics? I fear that store / local chain is just being grandfathered in.

I was pleased to see Boston's much higher ranking in other areas, including internet access. But really, we must do something about this bookseller problem. But then again, that means doing something about this commercial real estate problem, or real estate problem in general. Apparently, new commercial properties don't sit on the market for 2 days before being snapped up, and it's all high end. Snore.

I don't mind the rain, a bit of cold... is there room for a book editor in Seattle (number 2 overall, number 1 for booksellers)?

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