James Patterson: Sharing His Wealth Across the Pond
James Patterson is a man who, as the saying goes, puts his money where his mouth is. In the UK and Ireland, 73 indie booksellers are feeling very lucky, indeed.
Taking a page from his 2013 announcement to give a cool $1 mil to independent bookstores around the U.S. to help keep print reading and indies alive, Patterson has extended his sharing of the green across the pond, pledging to donate £250,000 (approximately $406,000) to bookshops in the UK.
In his first round of grants, more than £130,000 (approximately $211,120) was given to 73 bookshops in the UK and Ireland. Eligible were any bookshops with a dedicated children’s book section, and 183 applied. Grants ranged from £250 ($406) to £5,000 ($8,120).
I have been completely overwhelmed by just how many people have applied for the grants and impressed and enthused by the caliber of the applications. It’s been a very difficult decision process and I have worked to identify independent bookshops for whom this money may make a difference. I’m excited to follow their progress and see the proposed ideas in action.
Among the plans Patterson might see, according to The Bookseller, are a camper van that will take books into rural communities, leaving from Book-ish in Crickhowell, Wales; a “Hagrid’s Hut” children’s room come to life in the existing hidden stockroom at Far From the Madding Crowd in Linlithgow, Scotland; new shelving and display materials including a children’s books “Christmas ‘wow’ window” at the Gutter Bookshop in Ireland; and a reading and writing room for families at the Newham Bookshop in London.