Is Alexandria, VA as ‘Well-Read’ as Amazon Claims?

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By Dianna Dilworth Comments

alexandrialibraryEarlier this month, Amazon released its list of the 20 most well-read cities across America and Alexandria, VA topped the chart. David Rothman, founder of TeleRead  and Alexandria native, doesn’t think that this is a very accurate depiction of the city.

In a post on his blog, he explains that the town only has one large bookstore and its library budget is paltry. Here is an excerpt from the post:

U.S. expenditures on public library content are a miserable $4 per capita, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Alexandria spends only around $2.60. Recalculating with more detailed information, I see the number is not just “less” than the $3.25 mentioned earlier, but significantly so. And even the $2.60 will shrink slightly as a result of a fiscal year 2015 cutback from the current $389,754 to $364,226 for a city of about 150,000. The imposition of new taxes and fees makes my hometown’s miserliness toward library books even more of an embarrassment.