Five hundred booksellers across the U.S. are getting early holiday presents, courtesy of thriller author James Patterson.
“I’ve said this many times before, but I can’t say it enough: booksellers save lives," Patterson said. “Children’s booksellers especially—they guide children to books they’ll genuinely enjoy and in turn create a new generation of readers. I’m happy to be able to acknowledge them and the important work they do in any way that I can this holiday season.”
This is the sixth year that Patterson has partnered with the American Booksellers Association to give away the holiday bonuses. More than 2,500 independent bookstore employees were nominated for the bonuses this year.
In May, Patterson told Publishers Weekly that he was “humbled” to be able to award America’s booksellers for their work.
“I have to say that very few things make me as happy as hearing from the deserving booksellers who’ve received bonuses over the years," Patterson said. "Some have told me that they’ve used them to buy Christmas gifts for their families, to make necessary and long-awaited repairs to their store—or cars—or even to finally schedule an overdue doctor’s appointment.”
On Twitter, some of the recipients of the bonuses thanked Patterson for his largesse:
I’m very happy to announce that I received a holiday bonus from @JP_Books ! Thank you to everyone who entered for me: it really does make a difference - I’m able to pay off medical expenses from my surgery because of it!— Christian Vega (@Amadeus_CV) December 6, 2019
Here is the full list: https://t.co/urMftKvVot
https://t.co/keGo4qms8M It’s a huge honor to be one of the recipients this year — along with @eudaemaniacal and a lot of other fantastic booksellers. It’s incredibly validating, like, oh I really do do this professionally, huh?— Meagan Kane (@spocks_brain) December 6, 2019
Michael Schaub is an Austin, Texas–based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.