Priceonomics, a San Francisco online firm that offers price-searching and price comparisons, recently posted on its site results of its “e-literacy” study in the United States.
It turns out that Lexington, KY, and Ann Arbor, MI, are the “most electronically literate places in America,” based on Priceonomics’ database of eight million electronics for sale by city. The company looked at the sales figures of Amazon Kindles in each city, then found the results didn’t change when sales of the Nook e-reader were examined. The data also suggest dedicated e-readers are not a big part in the total landscape of consumer electronics and sales of the Kindle barely register on the resale market that Priceonomics tracks.
One thing that did stand out was that major metropolitan cities, such as San Francisco and Seattle, were soundly beaten by midsized cities in the Midwest and South when it comes to e-literacy.
Washington, D.C., was the largest city in the Top 10. Washington was also named the most literate city in America for the second straight year in a study released earlier this year by Central Connecticut State University. The CCSU research was based on very different criteria, including data on the number of bookstores, library resources, newspaper circulations, and Internet resources for each city. Seattle finished second in the CCSU study, compared to a distant 43rd in the Priceonomics data.
College towns also appear to have an edge when it comes to Kindle ownership, while the Kindle was the least popular in places with the best weather. That brings to mind the old adage about statistics: They can mean pretty much anything you like.