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Originally published Friday, December 22, 2006 at 12:00 AM

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Still raining, still reading

Here's some heartening holiday news, if you're a word lover: Seattle, despite storm blasts and occasional seismic grumbles, is still the...

Here's some heartening holiday news, if you're a word lover: Seattle, despite storm blasts and occasional seismic grumbles, is still the right place to be!

For the second year in a row, we have been ranked "America's Most Literate City" among 70 cities with a population of 250,000 or greater. The study, undertaken by Dr. John W. Miller, president of Central Connecticut State University, also ranks Seattle in the following categories:

No. 1 in number of bookstores per 10,000 population.

No. 1 in education level.

No. 3 in Internet resources and usage.

No. 7 in library support, holdings and utilization.

No. 12.5 (tied with Chicago) in number of magazines and journals published per 100,000 population.

No. 17.5 (tied with Detroit) in newspaper circulation (calculated by dividing total circulation divided by total city population).

West Coast cities San Francisco and Portland are keeping us company at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively. By contrast, New York City is at No. 42 in the overall literacy ranking; Los Angeles is at No. 57. Bringing up the rear is Stockton, Calif., down from 69 to 70 this year.

In Miller's study, conducted since 2003, Seattle has always ranked No. 2 or higher.

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic

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