Entertainment & Arts

James Patterson increases donations to UK bookshops

James Patterson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Patterson is committed to boosting literacy for young readers

US crime writer James Patterson has increased his donation to independent UK bookshops by an extra £250,000.

In June 2014, he pledged £250,000 to shops in the UK and Ireland. Since then more than £130,000 has already been allocated to more than 70 booksellers.

The funding has gone towards projects ranging from refurbishment and expansion of children's sections to organising a bedtime reading project.

He said he was "impressed and enthused by the calibre of the applications".

Any independent bookshop with a dedicated children's book section was eligible for a grant of between £250 and £5,000.

Patterson added: "I have been completely overwhelmed by just how many people have applied for the grants second time round.

"It's been very exciting to see the ideas from the first round in action. I have again worked to identify independent bookshops for whom this money may make a difference and I'm excited to follow their progress."

Tim Walker, president of the Booksellers Association, said: "We are thrilled that so many UK and Irish indies have shown such creativity and passion in their applications.

"For the lucky shops, the James Patterson money will make a real difference to how they reach children and encourage them to read."

According to the Booksellers Association, 67 independent bookshops closed in the UK in 2013.

Patterson, best known for his Alex Cross series of books, made a $1m (£590,000) donation to US bookshops last September.

He is also giving 45,000 copies of his books to young readers to more than 300 schools in New York.

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