Book lovers across America need to know ‘the story’ of these 5 great cities

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Bibliophiles who think that only major cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and others are tops when it comes to books have a little surprise in store.

Some of the nation’s book-friendliest cities aren’t what many expect. 

A new study from ranked the top U.S. cities for book lovers based on the offerings from each of the 116,867 libraries in the U.S. right now. 


In addition, the top cities in this survey have their own unique literary characteristics as well.

Bookworms may want to give these cities a closer “read” — or check them out during a road trip this spring or summer.

Worthington, Ohio

Worthington, Ohio, was ranked the no. 1 most bookish city in the U.S., according to this survey.

An American flag stands tall in front of Old Worthington Library in Worthington, Ohio. (Worthington Libraries)

The small northern Columbus suburb is known for its superb library system, made up of three locations — Northwest, Old Worthington and Worthington Park Libraries.

In an average year, Worthington libraries circulate more than four million items, making this the ninth highest circulating system in Ohio, reports. 

“We serve a community of avid readers and library supporters.”

“We were thrilled to hear of this designation!” community engagement director Lisa Fuller shared with Fox News Digital in an email. 

“We serve a community of avid readers and library supporters.”

The exterior of Northwest Library in Worthington, Ohio is shown in this photo. (Worthington Libraries)

“Our buildings are bustling with activity as we prepare for the start of the annual summer reading club,” she also said.


Worthington’s libraries offer an array of services, including a summer movie series, used book sales and author-focused events and appearances — including one by “The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood scheduled for June 15, 2022.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Michigan’s lower peninsula city of Ann Arbor ranked as the second-best city for book lovers, according to the new study; it has one of the best library systems in America.

Michigan Stadium, the largest stadium in the United States, and second-largest stadium in the world, home of the Michigan Wolverines football team and women’s lacrosse team in Ann Arbor, Michigan on July 30, 2019. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Home of the University of Michigan’s world-renowned research program, Ann Arbor’s library system — made up of five separate branches — has a total circulation of 6,907,09 items, according to 

It offers year-round events for adults and kids.

Downtown Ann Arbor is home to several quaint, locally owned bookstores, including Dawn Treader and West Side bookshops, specializing in used and rare selections.

Ann Arbor also puts on several book festivals, such as the annual Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair, for all bibliophiles — sellers and readers alike — to t

The three-story Literati bookstore, founded by a Brooklyn couple, is looking to spread book love.

Ann Arbor also puts on several book festivals, such as the annual Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair, for all bibliophiles — sellers and readers alike.

Provo, Utah

This city came in third for its extraordinary Provo City Library located in the former Brigham Young Academy building, the new study said.

Founded in 1905 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, Provo City Library boasts an ornate architecture — which gives the library an extravagant feel after $5.8 million was spent on renovations and preservation efforts in 1997.

A mural in downtown Provo, Utha, is pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Photo by Evan Cobb for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The library with 1,589,375 in total circulation offers an exhibit space and art gallery, as well as several large spaces. Those include a ballroom, which is available for reservation.

Library director Gene Nelson confirmed in an email that the Provo population is made up of “a lot” of book lovers, all starting with the youngest generation.


“Our primary goal for producing and offering 30 regular scheduled children’s story times weekly is to encourage the love of books, reading and the library,” he wrote. 

“Approximately 50% of our total circulation originates from our children’s library.”

Independently owned Provo bookstores such as Pioneer Book and Eborn Books have also been praised as community favorites for their wide variety of rare and general interest selections.

Hoover, Alabama

Hoover, Alabama, landed in the fourth spot for its library that is more than just that.

Hoover Public Library lives up to its motto, “We are more than a library,” with its unique offerings. These include a professional theater that hosts live performances; a technology training center; family activities; and a café. 

Teens gather around a laptop while enjoying beverages from the Hoover Library cafe, in Hoover, Alabama. (Hoover Library/Lance Shores)

Library director Amanda Borden told Fox News Digital that Hoover residents know they have a “very special library” as part of their community. She said the library’s success is due to its commitment to public service.

“From choosing books to planning programs to hiring staff, everything we do centers around customer service,” she said. “We say it a lot: ‘We like books, but we LOVE people.’”


“We’re very focused on the future and finding ways to keep our library relevant,” she continued. “Our culture is one of innovation, creativity, exploration and saying ‘YES’ whenever we can.”

With a total circulation of 1,650,847, the library just south of Birmingham brings it all home with free “Love on the Plaza” music events and game nights.

Naperville, Illinois

In Chicago’s western suburbs, Naperville, Illinois, is praised for its acclaimed schools and competitive library system.

The Naperville system, consisting of Nichols, 95th Street and Naper Boulevard libraries, has taken the unique approach of eliminating overdue fines on library books and other media. 

The library claims on its website that the lax system has allowed customers to experience “increased flexibility” and better customer service.

With a total circulation of 3,905,798 items, patrons have saved $9,967,242 in total so far this year by checking out items instead of purchasing them, the Naperville Library says.

The bookstore is known for hosting authors from around the world.

But Naperville is also known for the popular Anderson’s Bookshop, which has been selling books independently since 1875. It was named Naperville Chamber of Commerce’s small business of the year in 2010.

Along with other awards and recognitions, the bookstore is known for hosting authors from around the world.

Ginny Wehrli-Hemmeter, director of events and marketing at Anderson’s, told Fox News Digital just how much the family-owned bookstore means to the community.

“We’re very much a part of Naperville’s history,” she said.

“It matters to us the kind of community we’re representing in our bookstore. So we’re proud of that.”

“We’ve had several generations of people growing up going to Anderson’s to find their next great read.”


“Community matters to us,” she added. 

“So many of us that work here, live here, grew up here … It matters to us the kind of community we’re representing in our bookstore. So we’re proud of that,” she said.