Author supports independent shops

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Author James Patterson

Author James Patterson is donating £250,000 to help independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland, in an effort to encourage children to read.

The bestselling thriller writer, who has sold more than 280 million books worldwide, is offering financial awards to shops, at a time when people are increasingly turning to digital formats.

Retailers with a dedicated children's book section can apply for grants of between £250 and £5,000 if they come up with innovative ideas to encourage youngsters to read.

Patterson - who has already pledged a large sum to US stores - said: "Far too many children are in danger of living their lives without books. This runs the risk of living in a world run by the shortsighted, by the empathy-challenged, and by the glib.

"Bookshops are the most viable bulwark against this and I need to be part of the fight to ensure their survival. I can't wait to get started and see what the UK and Ireland's incredible and pioneering bookshops propose."

His announcement comes ahead of Independent Booksellers Week next week

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