By John Hubbuch
Online bookseller Amazon.com using obviously bogus data declared Cambridge,Mass the most well-read city in the US. Runnersup included Berkeley,Ann Arbor and Boulder. Duh! Giant universities require students to buy lots of books. Of course a lot of books are sold, but that's like declaring Hati the fresh air capital of the Americas after the earthquake.
Everyone knows Oak Park is the reading capital of the US. We're the birthplace of oldy-goldies like Hemingway and Burroughs, but Carol Shieds, Richard Bach, Jane Hamilton and Andrew Greely were born here, and Elizabeth Berg, Alex Kotlowitz and grapic novelist Chris Ware live here.
Our library is second to none. We have two big bookstores within 200 yards of one another on Lake Street, and everyone knows that Forest Park's Centuries and Sleuths really should be in Oak Park.
But the best evidence that Oak Park is the reading capital of the US is this: as far as I can tell every woman in Oak Park belongs to a book group. I did hear of a woman a couple of years ago that refused to join a book group, but she was shunned by all the Village women and moved to Naperville.