Left Bank Books received an early holiday gift this year: a grant from author James Patterson, who donated a total of $473,000 to 81 independent bookstores in the third and final round of his program to give away $1 million in 2014.
Jarek Steele, co-owner of Left Bank Books, said, “This vote of confidence from such a well-respected author and champion of this work means the world to [us]. It allows us to focus our attention on our community and its stories.”
Left Bank intends to use the generous grant to fund much needed equipment upgrades for the store.
Patterson donated $1,008,300 to 178 independent bookstores with children’s book sections this year in direct response to the very real risks facing bookstores, libraries, and publishing in the United States today. He feels literacy in America is in jeopardy, as is the future of millions of children who will never grow up with a local bookstore, library, or access to real books.
“Here’s to a joyful holiday season for booksellers everywhere,” Patterson said. “Here’s to more parents and grandparents coming to their senses and giving their kids books—yes, books—for Christmas and other holidays. 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.”
“The world around us changes faster than our imperfect human souls change,” Steele said. “Books and stories—the connective tissue that threads together our shared loves, fears, and struggles—need champions. This work is not a career for those interested in thanks. The focus is, as it should be, on the books.”