Bookshops in Scotland, including those in Fife and Edinburgh, could land a share in a £250k funding pot pledged by the author behind movies such as Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider.
They’re invited to apply for a grant from bestselling author James Patterson via the Booksellers’ Association, a membership group which represents more than 95% of booksellers across the UK and Ireland.
Patterson, who is a self-confessed ‘bookshop devotee’ and author of the Alex Cross series, has already awarded 69 independent bookshops across the UK and Ireland a share of £110,000 in grants after he pledged in April to donate £250,000 over the next year.
Patterson has donated more than £360,000 across 210 independent bookshops since the very first round of applications in September 2014 and still has £140,000 to allocate.
Scotland’s latest beneficiaries are Argyll Book Centre Scotland, Lochgilphead; The Bookworm at Selkirk; Deeside Books, Ballater; Far From The Madding Crowd, Linlithgow; The Nairn Bookshop; Orb’s Bookshop, Huntly, and The Shetland Times Bookshop, Lerwick.
This third round of applications will see grants used to fund author events, a children’s reading challenge, and a Book Bus for school visits. Other causes include the refurbishment and redesign of children’s sections, creation of storytelling spaces and new signage, carpeting and flooring.
Independent bookshops with a dedicated children’s book section are eligible for grants of between £250 and £5,000. Successful applicants will be announced by Patterson next year.
Patterson said: “I have been completely overwhelmed by just how many independent bookshops have applied for this third round of grants, and yet again have been impressed and enthused by the calibre of the applications. It’s been very exciting to see the ideas from previous grant applications in action, with everything from a bedtime reading project to a refurbishment of children’s sections now underway. I have again worked to identify independent bookshops for whom this money can make a difference and for whom getting children reading is a real passion. I can’t wait to see what the UK and Ireland’s incredible and pioneering bookshops propose for next year.”
Tim Walker, president of The Booksellers Association, said: “We are very much looking forward to seeing the grant funding being implemented by the successful bookshops. We are thrilled that so many UK and Irish indies have shown such creativity and passion in their applications, with everything from a junior book club and writing competition, to creation of a children’s literary festival having been proposed. For the successful shops, the James Patterson money will make a real difference to how they reach children and encourage them to read. We are delighted that James Patterson is continuing to act on his love of bookshops and his appreciation of their vital importance to cultural and community life.”