Great Moments in Self-Congratulatory Marketing

Have you seen the 2014 list of the “Most Well-Read Cities in America?”

Without clicking the link, you might wonder how such a list was compiled. Did they survey the inhabitants of each city to determine how many books they read over the previous year? Nope, instead, it’s just a list of who bought books on Amazon.There’s no consideration of the types of books purchased, if they were actually read, or even sales by any other bookseller.

That’s a pretty impressive sleight of hand, isn’t it? By rewording a list of their best customers, they’ve made it sound like a desirable distinction.  Buying something from Amazon does not make you “well-read;” reading does.

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