Top crime writer to donate €300k to bookshops

James Patterson, whose crime novels sell in the hundreds of millions around the world, is to donate €300,000 to independent bookshops in Ireland and Britain.

The US author, who has topped the New York Times bestseller list a record 57 times with his Alex Cross thrillers, said bookshops played an essential role in society and child development, and their plight in the face of cheap online booksellers needed to be highlighted.

“We’re in a revolution and evolution period because of e-books and online book distributors, the Amazons of the world, so I just want to try and make that transition as orderly, fair and as smart as we can,” he said.

The announcement follows Patterson’s pledge last September to donate $1m to US bookshops.

Donations in the US have so far helped to fund everything from customising a school bus as a mobile bookshop — to providing free books for underprivileged children.

In an open letter to bookshops in Ireland and Britain, Patterson describes the paucity of children who read books as a ‘grave peril’ facing future generations.

Names of the first bookshops to have made successful bids will be announced in September. To apply for funding, bookshop owners are asked to write a brief outline of how they would use donations of €300 to €6,000 and email it to him at james.patterson@booksellers.org.uk.

“I’m open to all types of request here,” he says.


Lifestyle

Keep chomping on those carrots so your eyes will be in perfect working order for that prolonged annual gaze through the keyhole as Home of the Year returns for a sixth series next week.Home of the Year offers a good excuse for a bit of good-natured interiors voyeurism

They differ from the more prevalent oranges we eat because their flesh, and often the skin, is crimson or deep red in colour.Michelle Darmody: The best time of year to buy blood oranges

The annual Members Exhibition now underway at the Lavit Gallery in Cork features 92 works from 72 artists.The exhibition runs until March 7.Under the hammer: Your guide to upcoming auctions

There’s an oriental theme at the James Adam ‘At Home’ auction in Dublin, says Des O’SullivanAuctions: Sale full of eastern promise

More From The Irish Examiner