Author James Patterson gives $500 bonuses to hundreds of independent bookstore employees

Getty Images. (L - Author James Patterson speaks on stage during a discussion of his new book co-written with the 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton The President Is Missing at University of Pennsylvania on June 6, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.)

Six hundred employees at independent bookstores — from Chapter One in Victoria, Minnesota, to The Cloak & Dagger in Princeton, New Jersey — will be receiving $500 holiday bonuses from author James Patterson.

Employees were able to nominate themselves, or be recommended by store owners, managers, peers, community members and others.

"I’ve said this before, but I can’t say it enough — booksellers save lives," Patterson said in a statement Wednesday. "What they do is crucial, especially right now. I’m happy to be able to acknowledge them and their hard work this holiday season."

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One of the world’s most popular and prolific writers, Patterson has given millions of dollars to booksellers, librarians and teachers. In 2015, the same year he began awarding employee bonuses, he was presented an honorary National Book Award for "Outstanding Service to the America Literary Community."

Patterson has even co-authored a tribute book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians," which Little, Brown and Company will release in April.

"We all continue to be awed by, and grateful for, Mr. Patterson’s continuing support of independent booksellers," Allison Hill, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, said in a statement. "It means so much to have him recognize the valuable role booksellers play in the industry and we appreciate his financial generosity as well as his generosity of spirit."