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L.A. bookstores are big in the Twittersphere

October 19, 2009 |  4:26 pm

Damionsearlesatbooksoup

Throw another big shining coin in our overflowing treasure chest of evidence that Los Angeles is a highly literary city. Turns out that of the 10 most popular bookstores on Twitter, four are based in Los Angeles. In descending order, that's Skylight Books with 2,426 followers, Vroman's with 2,248, Book Soup with 2,175 and newcomer Metropolis Books in downtown Los Angeles with 1,820.

OK, we're not home to the biggest bookstore on the Twitter block. That place is claimed by Powell's, the independent, Portland, Ore.-based bookseller that went online early and in a big way. Powell's beyond-Portland online presence is reflected in its 10,132 followers. It's in a class by itself.

Although the four L.A. bookstores in the top 10 total fewer than 9,000 followers, they still make an impressive bundle. The second-most popular bookstore is Tattered Cover in Denver (3,359 followers), the only Denver bookstore on the list. Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge (3,182) is the only Boston-ish store. And Bookpeople in Austin (1,966) is the lone representative for the Lone Star state.

The two New York bookstores to make the top 10 -- Word and Book Culture -- are both in Brooklyn. Together, they total 3,937.

If you look into the entire top 20 list, more New York and Boston bookstores begin popping up -- as do stores in New Hampshire, Maryland, Minnesota and Vermont. Not so much Los Angeles -- it appears we have a handful of bookstores that have already established themselves as strong Twitter players.

Which means next time you go to a reading, don't turn off your cellphone, as they always advise. Instead, turn off your ringer, and feel free to Tweet, as long as you mention where you're at -- @skylightbooks, @vroman's, @metroplisbooks or @booksoup.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Author Damion Searls reads at Book Soup in Los Angeles. Credit: Carolyn Kellogg

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