Philadelphia just No. 28 on ‘literate cities’ list
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Don't blame the use of
The new list of "America's Most Literate Cities" isn't about proper speech.
Philadelphia was ranked a lowly 28th - trailing even Pittsburgh - based on per-capita calculations of the resources available to readers, including bookstores and libraries, and how much people actually read.
Seattle and Minneapolis tied for No. 1 in the sixth annual survey headed by John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University.
The others in the Top 10 (actually 11 because of a two-way tie at No. 10) are Washington, St. Paul, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Portland, Ore.
Only cities with populations of at least 250,000 were ranked, based on scores in a half-dozen categories to get at how much an area supports and enjoys reading, explained university spokesman Mark McLaughlin.
Philadelphia's highest rank was No. 14, for publications - the number of magazines and journals published per capita.
Only the city proper was counted; no suburbs were included.
Other Philly per-capita rankings: 30th for the number of bookstores; 35th for newspaper circulation; 28th for library resources (branches and volumes) and borrowing rates; and 28th for Internet use, including online book orders, as well as visitors and views for the city's top newspaper website.
The city also ranked 56th for the percentages of adults with high school and college diplomas.
Philadelphia's overall ranking was actually up a few notches from the last few years, McLaughlin said.
Cuts in city libraries, though, aren't likely to help future scores.
Surprisingly, Philadelphia wasn't far behind media and publishing mecca New York City, which finished No. 24 overall.
McLaughlin explained that New York's enormous population diluted its per-capita numbers.
Philly even outscored the Big Apple for booksellers and newspaper readership.
And yet Pittsburgh, not exactly known as bookish turf, made the Top 10 for booksellers, libraries and newspaper readership.
For more information, go to the study's website, www.ccsu.edu/AMLC08/default.htm.