Internet

Who's Reading What Where?

|

In case you thought that globalization/the Internet/media conglomerates/The Man had finally succeeded in homogenizing people's tastes and consumption habits, think again.

Among Amazon's many curated features is a fascinating Best of the Month list, where they've just started offering regional breakdowns. Here's some trend analysis from Amazon's bloggers at Omnivoracious:

in the early March returns a few interesting things pop out: Stephenie Meyer is much more popular in the West and the South. Jodi Picoult and Valerie Bertinelli are popular in the East; Jonah Goldberg is not. Richard Price and Tori Spelling are doing well on the coasts; James Patterson's latest Maximum Ride and Mary Kay Andrews's new cooking mystery are big in the South. And African American bishop E. Bernard Jordan's The Laws of Thinking, not in the top 10 in any other region, is #2 in the South.

That's only based on a limited data set so far, though, since March just started, so I went back and filled in the data for February too, which you can see on our FairTax: The Truth, by radio host Neal Boortz, is a regional blockbuster: #2 among all books in the South but not in the top 10 for any other region. Among February releases it does make the top 10s in the Midwest and the West (barely), but in the East it wasn't even close: #122! On the other hand, Greg Mortenson's paperback hit about building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Three Cups of Tea, and Susan Jacoby's modern jeremiad, The Age of American Unreason, both did much better in the West than anywhere else. Baseball fans (or at least Baseball Prospectus statheads) appear to be grouped, as you might expect, in the East and Midwest, and, even less surprisingly, the only part of the country where the Sports Illustrated New York Giants Super Bowl Commemorative Edition made the top 10 was, yes, the East (it didn't even make the top 500 in the West or the Midwest).

To see the whole current list, go to their Best of the Month and scroll down toward the bottom of the page to "Most of the Month."

NEXT: Oprah, Marilyn, Break Through Public-School Industrial Complex

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Half-baked Zen self-help is the No. 1 in all regions?

    Sweet funky Moses, that whole list is depressing.

  2. When I see a person reading a James Patterson book, I want to shoot that person in the head.

    That a guy like Patterson could make so much filthy lucre writing stuff that can’t even be called mediocre makes me want to puke.

  3. OK, we East Coast types love our Valerie and our Tori, and think Jonah Goldberg stinks? Hey, we have got our priorities right!

  4. OK, we East Coast types love our Valerie and our Tori, and think Jonah Goldberg stinks? Hey, we have got our priorities right!

    Let’s make litter out of these literati!

  5. “Half-baked Zen self-help is the No. 1 in all regions?”

    basically.

    i was watching creflo dollar this weekend (besides his hilarious name – like if mark foley changed his name to mark babyfucker – he’s one of the premier rhetoricians in the united states right now) and outside of his quasi-gnostic routine – which i dearly enjoy – the rest of it was basically “give up trying and send me money” though the subtext is “god will then send you a lot more money.”

    ok make that quasi-gnostic chain letter aficionado on his resume.

  6. dhex,
    brother dollar is just doin his part to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
    If God don’t do his part, than that is God’s problem.

  7. In case you thought that globalization/the Internet/media conglomerates/The Man had finally succeeded in homogenizing people’s tastes and consumption habits, think again.

    i have never understood why anybody thinks that. it isn’t even close comparing variety and choice with big companies than companies from 100 years ago.

  8. Baseball fans (or at least Baseball Prospectus statheads) appear to be grouped, as you might expect, in the East and Midwest

    I contributed!!!

    Its the only book Ive bought from Amazon this year.

    Im not sure where they put KY, so I may have helped out the south.

  9. Just a note, Baseball Prospectus sales will plummet over the next few months. Nearly everyone who buys it, preorders it, we have to have it well before our fantasy drafts.

    Im proud/embarrassed to to say that I own every BP published, including the first, self-bound that you ordered via Usenet.

  10. javier,

    I think that the ” media homogenized” slogan is just a rationalization. The thought process is: The ideas I agree with are unpopular, therefore a) my ideas are stupid or radical or illogical or b) a vast media conspiracy exists to suppress my brilliant insight into the human condition. Simple egotism gives you the answer.

  11. It’s horseshit that Amazon is allowed to violate privacy and have this information in the first place.

  12. Richard Price popular on the coasts? Word.

  13. Is it too easy to shit on James Patterson and the legions of drooling morons who buy his books?

  14. Is it too easy to shit on James Patterson and the legions of drooling morons who buy his books?

    To paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke; making fun of them would be like hunting cows with a high-powered rifle and a scope – fun, but certainly not sporting.

  15. Actually, the new FairTax book is number 9 on the NYT nonfiction advice category. I suggest all read it. Nice try.

  16. What is so bad about James Patterson and his fans? He is a mystery writer like John Grisham, right? Where does Matt Welch’s book come down on this thing, does it tell you which website that linked to it sent the most purchasers to it? I bet it would be rEASON.com/blog because y’all talked about that book every day for a long time.

  17. great! I also like reading ,in the quite area

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.