File this under the “you learn something new everyday” category. never ceases to amaze me. Everytime I visit their site – roughly once or twice a month – I always see some feature of the site I’ve never noticed before. Today Karen mentioned You Can Heal Your Life and I’d never heard of it so I looked it up on Amazon.

I was looking at the description when I noticed that this particular book was ranked number one in Lemont, Illinois. Huh? Number one in Lemont, Illinois? Why? How weird, I thought and clicked the link. What I got was a listing of books that are popular in Lemont. The question of why never got answered but what I realized was that you could get the top ten uniquely popular books purchased in nearly any city in the United States!

This just blows my mind. What a cool way for them to slice their data. It’s interesting, not only because it can help you decide what to get your friend in Podunk for a gift but also just from a sociological perspective. Amazon probably has enough data now that there’s some validity to ‘taking a pulse’ on a region using their tool. You can learn what’s important to the people who live there based on what they’re buying to read. Even more interesting, is you can see how being in a particular location can influence what people read, beyond the books that are obviously about their region.


  1. I worked for an author once whose books always hit #1 in weird places when he was presenting a seminar there. It was kind of strange, actually, to see that his book was #1 in a place like Lemont, Illinois in the week before and after his appearance.

  2. I don’t mean to complain, but what’s with the excruciatingly long load time for your page lately? Is it that adorable photo of the dawgs or is it something else?<br>xoxo

  3. People in Trabuco Canyon tend to order either childrens’ books or weird faux philosophy like "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus".

  4. I checked the town I went to high school in. And one of the big books that everyone read when I was there is on the list. Some things never change.

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