Looks like other cities had better get reading; Seattle and Minneapolis are making us look bad.
Five years ago Margit Rankin moved to Seattle from Manhattan, the red-hot core of the literary world. One of her first nights out was at a reading featuring Charles Frazier, author of "Cold Mountain," appearing with fellow Southern writer Kaye Gibbons.
Rankin was stunned. About 2,500 people showed up. At the mere mention of the Elliott Bay Book Co., a treasured independent bookstore trying for a new life after an ownership change, the audience rose and gave a standing ovation.
"That was my initial impression of Seattle" as a reading town, said Rankin, now director of Seattle Arts & Lectures. "And it hasn't been diminished in the least."
Yesterday a survey of literacy in 64 cities confirmed what Seattle bookworms have long suspected. It named Seattle as one of the country's two most-literate cities, edged out for No. 1 only by Minneapolis.