The question below got me thinking about my own reading habits. I hardly ever pick up a book, other than the Bible. But I read constantly: newsletters online, blogs, news aggregators (like Zite, Flipboard, TED), social media posts, newspapers at my door and online, as well as books on my iPad, and magazines.

Do I miss the feel and heft of a book? Not at all. I find the iPad a splendid reading environment. Do I miss browsing bookstore shelves? A little. But the ease of buying books online makes up for it. I can finish a book, click to the Apple Book Store, and download another book in 30 seconds. I’m slogging through “Steve Jobs” right now. What a jerk!

My fifth grade teacher, Nell Leslie, might be appalled, but I doubt it. She was all about the act of reading, not about books as such. I can picture her wearing jeans, sitting at a table in Starbucks, reading on an iPad, making eye contact with me at a nearby table and smiling at new ways.

So, what about your reading habits?


Q: Does anyone relish reading anymore? An essay? Short story? Or, God forbid, a novel?

A: Sure. Reading seems more popular than ever. Magazines are thriving. Blogs and news aggregators are thriving. People download white papers to advance their knowledge. Colleges and universities are placing their curriculum materials online for remote reading.

Reading might be taking some different forms. Local newspapers are struggling. The reading of books (fiction and non-fiction) is moving to e-readers like the Kindle and iPad, as opposed to printed volumes. Authors are starting to skip the traditional publisher and sell directly to the public.

So, yes, you might see fewer people curled up on a window seat holding a novel in their hands, or scanning the Daily Bugle at the breakfast table, or plowing through card catalogs in the library. But those were just forms of reading. The act of reading seems to be more prevalent now than ever.

College towns tend to be the best-read communities. Amazon ranked Cambridge, MA, first, followed by Alexandria, VA; Berkeley, CA; Ann Arbor, MI; and Boulder, CO. (Read the top 20 here: