Noted author James Patterson awarded $1 million in grants to hundreds of bookstores, including Book Ends, to get more kids to start reading.
A small, Indie bookstore in Winchester is one of several bookstores across the country to receive a grant from best-selling author James Patterson.
Patterson has taken $1 million of his own money to distribute as grants to hundreds of independent bookstores.
He hopes that bookstore owners will use the grants to invest in improvements, offer employees bonuses and expand literacy outreach programs, The New York Timesreported.
Patterson is the best-selling author of several fiction and nonfiction novels. About one-in-four of all hardcover suspense and thriller novels sold in 2011 were written by Patterson, according to James Patterson’s website.
Patterson has used his fortune made from his success to award grants ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 to the bookstores, according to Publishers Weekly.
Book Ends, a 2,500-square-foot bookstore, located at 559 Main Street, was in the third round of grant recipients.
Book Ends owner Judy Manzo submitted an essay to Patterson’s “ Read Kiddo Read” grant program to receive the grant.
Manzo said she is unsure of the grant amount her store received, although she requested a bonus of $10,000 in her letter to Patterson.
Patterson hopes that bookstore owners will use his grants to provide incentive to get more kids to start reading.
For Book Ends, children’s books is a large and important aspect of their store, said Manzo who is a former special education teacher.
“We sell tons of childrens books,” she said.
Between Book Ends and the book fair company Book Fairs by Book Ends, 108,000 children’s books and 21,919 adult books were sold in 2013.
“We are really passionate about getting books into the hands of children,” said Manzo.
In addition to using the money to get more kids to read, Book Ends plans to add upgraded fixtures, improve signage and lighting, add staff incentives and education, bring authors to underfunded schools, upgrade book fair racks and carts and more.