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James Patterson giving $1 million to independent bookstores

By Daniel S Levine,

James Patterson, one of the richest authors in the U.S., is following through on his promise last fall to donate $1 million out of his own pocket to independent bookstores across the nation. Patterson has already sent out the checks to the first group of stores, totaling $267,000.

In September, Patterson spoke with the Wall Street Journal and CBS This Morning to outline his plans, which include a spot on his site where readers can suggest stores that need his help. According to Publisher’s Weekly, Patterson also enlisted R.L. Stine, Kate DiCamillo and other authors, who suggested other stores for him to donate to.

Now, the first installment of donations is out in the mail. He’s sent a total of $267,000 to 54 stores. He also sent a grant to the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association to support its California Bookstore Day.

“We’ll follow it with as many as we can do,” Patterson told Publisher’s Weekly recently. “It’s as easy as putting on half a page of paper what you need to do. It’s not like applying to Harvard. It’s not difficult, and there’s no catch. We want to be inundated.”

Dave Shallenberger, who owns a children’s bookstore in Decatur, Georgia, told Fox Business that the grant is a wish come true. “We do a lot of book fairs and send authors to schools, and we wanted to do something a little more special than open our cars and put in books,” Shallenberger said. “We talked about getting a vehicle, like a pickup truck [or] a an old school bus, and converting it into a bookmobile.”

Two stores that Stine recommended will receive grants - Books of Wonder in New York City and Anderson's in Naperville, Illinois. Author Brian Selznick’s picks for the grants were Reading Reptile in Kansas City, Missouri; Booktenders in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and Children's Book World in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

Patterson is still letting readers suggest stores for future grants here.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 
 

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