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James Patterson completes $1 million in donations to independent bookstores

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(Read caption) Author James Patterson participates in an interview at his home in Palm Beach, Fla.

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Bestselling writer James Patterson has fulfilled his promise to donate $1 million to independent bookstores.

With a final dispensation of about $437,000 to 81 stores, he has donated the complete amount. When Patterson first announced his idea, he stipulated that the store would need to be “viable” and have a children’s section in order to qualify for a donation.

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According to industry newsletter Shelf Awareness, the author said this past summer that he will also give around $393,000 to bookstores in the UK and Ireland and is still in the process of distributing those donations.

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As noted by NPR, a statement from the author about the completion of his donations sounded a positive note about the status of independent bookstores today, compared to last year when Patterson announced his program. 

“Here's to more parents and grandparents coming to their senses and giving their kids books – yes, books – for Christmas and other holidays," the author said in a statement. "Here's to local governments waking up to the fact that bookstores and libraries are essential to our way of life. Here's to media coverage of books, booksellers, and publishers, and to a wiser, more literate America. Happy holidays to one and all!” 

Bookstores who received Patterson’s donations expressed their gratitude. Staff at the independent bookstore Reading Bug of San Carlos, Calif. wrote on the store’s Facebook page, “We are thrilled to be one of the recipients of a grant from generous Author James Patterson! We will be using the grant to keep up our community event space where we share stories, sing, dance and meet authors with our wonderful customers in San Carlos and all over the Bay Area!”