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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: books

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December 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

What is Seattle’s top gift for 2012?

Elliott Bay Books on Capitol Hill (Photo: Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons)

Giving books as Christmas gifts this year?  If so, you’re not alone.  Books and reading-related items are the No. 1 gift purchased by Seattleites in 2012, according to consumer expenditure data provided by Experian.  Folks who live in the city of Seattle spend 31 percent above the national average on reading-related gifts.  Among all gift categories, that is where Seattleites outpace the nation by the greatest amount.

Seattleites don’t just buy books as gifts, either; we buy lots of them for ourselves.  In fact, we have one of the biggest book-buying budgets in the country.   On average, a Seattle city resident spends about $55 on books over the course of a year — that’s in the top five for book spending among the nation’s 50 largest cities.

Take a look at the interactive map below. It charts average book spending for the country’s major cities. Just move your cursor over the blue circle to see each city’s data (it might take a minute to load).

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