Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Best-selling author gives $1 million to bookstores, including 2 in metro

Author:

One of the world's best-selling writers is putting his money where his mouth is, to the delight of a pair of Minnesota book stores that will benefit from his generosity.

The New York Times reported that James Patterson, the prolific author of the Alex Cross detective books, young-adult fiction, nonfiction and even romance novels, plans to give away $1 million to 55 independent bookstores across the country.

The Pioneer Press reports that the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul and the Wild Rumpus children's bookstore in Minneapolis are among stores included in the first round of grants, which range from $2,000 to $15,000. The amount the two local stores received was not disclosed.

NPR News noted that Patterson is targeting smaller bookstores, which have struggled to survive as they face competition from discounters, online competitors like Amazon and e-books. Publisher's Weekly, which had a list of the bookstores that received grants from Patterson, explained that the writer established a place on his website where shops could apply for grants. The site also allows readers to nominate their favorite stores.

Patterson also reached out to fellow authors for their recommendation on stores that might not have applied but could benefit from a cash influx. One of them was Minneapolis writer Kate DiCamillo, who recently won her second Newberry Medal for children's literature. Holly Weinkauf, the owner of the Red Balloon, speculated that DiCamillo may have put in a good word with Patterson.

"On Wednesday, a special package came in the mail with the check, along with a lovely, encouraging letter from Mr. Patterson about how important the work is we are doing," she told the newspaper. "It's nice to hear those words, to be acknowledged. He said an author he respected highlighted the Red Balloon."

Patterson placed no restrictions on how his grants can be used.

"The money and validation of what we do is nice," Weinkauf said, "but I also appreciate Mr. Patterson's effort to bring the public's attention to the current challenging business climate for independent bookstores and how vital we are to our communities."

“I’m rich; I don’t need to sell more books,” Patterson, 66, told the Times. “People just need to go into bookstores more. It’s not top of mind as much as it used to be.”

Patterson has also established a program that gives thousands of dollars for books to college students.

Next Up

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

Related