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A while back, I wrote a diary for this series about independent bookstores using services like kickstarter to keep themselves open. Then, two weeks ago, DocRunning wrote a short diary about a program the wildly successful mystery writer James Patterson has announced to give $1 million to a number of independent bookstores. I thought I'd take a closer look at the program, since our last LA Kossacks meetup reminded me that there is an independent bookstore I LOVE on Vermont Avenue in the Los Feliz district, which I'll probably write about in April.

So follow me below the great orange bookplate for another discussion of philanthropy and bookstores.

Hector Tobar, writing for the Los Angeles Times, notes that the program was announced last fall, and that Patterson mailed the first checks out, $267,000 worth of them:

“Every day, booksellers are out there saving our country’s literature,” Patterson said in a news release. “The work they do to support schools and the rest of their communities leaves a lasting love of reading in children and adults.... What are we if we don’t have our own literature? I couldn’t be happier to, very humbly, support booksellers in their mission.”
There are 55 bookstores involved:
Bookstore Recipients — First Round

A Whale of a Tale – Irvine, CA
Alamosa Books – Albuquerque, NM
Anderson's – Naperville, IL
Andover Bookstore (Hugo Books) – Andover, MA
Bank Street Bookstore – New York, NY
Bookshop Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz, CA
Book Bin – Northbrook, IL
Book Culture –New York, NY
Book Passage – Corte Madera, CA
Book Revue – Huntington, NY
BookPeople – Austin, TX
Books & Books – Coral Gables, FL
Books & Greetings – Northvale, NJ
Books of Wonder – New York, NY
Booktenders – Doylestown, PA
Bookworks – Albuquerque, NM
Brazos Bookstore, Inc. – Houston, TX
Brewster Book Store – Brewster, MA
Broadside Book Shop – Northampton, MA
Browseabout Books – Rehoboth Beach, DE
California Bookstore Day
Children's Book World – Los Angeles, CA
Children's Book World – Haverford, PA
Doylestown Bookshop – Doylestown, PA
Eighth Day Books – Wichita, KS
Gallery Bookshop/Bookwinkle Children – Mendocino, CA
Hicklebee's – San Jose, CA
Innisfree Bookshop – Lincoln, NH
Lake Forest BookStore – Lake Forest, IL
Little Shop of Stories – Decatur, GA
Malaprop's Bookstore and Café – Asheville, NC
Mysterious Galaxy – Redondo Beach/San Diego, CA
Nicola's Books – Ann Arbor, MI
Norwich Bookstore – Norwich, VT
Oblong Books – Millerton, NY
Odyssey Book Shop – South Hadley, MA
Old Firehouse Books – Fort Collins, CO
Page & Palette – Fairhope, AL
Park Road Books – Charlotte, NC
Parnassus Books – Nashville, TN
Percy's Burrow – Topsham, ME
Phoenix Books – Essex Junction, VT
Porter Square Books – Cambridge, MA
Reading Reptile – Kansas City, MO
Red Balloon – St. Paul, MN
Russo's Marketplace Books – Bakersfield, CA
Schuler Books and Music – Okemos, MI
Subterranean Books – St. Louis, MO
The Bookies – Denver, CO

Patterson is also still looking for applications. There are few qualifications, and the one noted in the article is that the bookstore have a children's section (hence Children's Book World). The article even has a link to a form at Patterson's website for people who want to learn more about his efforts.

Philanthropy? It's great to see a writer who has done well giving back to the bookstores who sell his books, but it's even nicer to see bookstores participating in the community by bringing in authors to read from their latest books. Yes, Community. Like this one. We read, and we can support independent bookstores by going to readings and buying books. I know I have a reading at Skyline on my calendar for April 5, a Saturday afternoon.

Once again, if you have any favorite independent bookstores, or even remarks about the big box suppliers (Barnes and Noble made a profit last quarter after scaling back its NOOK business), this series would love to have you write about your bookstore issues and your bookstore. I'll be taking my camera out into the city this spring.

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