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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Books & Reading: A National Priority

“I believe we should spend less time worrying about the quantity of books children read and more time introducing them to quality books that will turn them on to the joy of reading and turn them into lifelong readers.” – James Patterson

Born on this date in 1947, Patterson is arguably the best selling author of all time.  His books have sold more than 300 million copies and he was the first person to sell 1 million e-books.   In 2016, Patterson topped Forbes’ list of highest-paid authors for the third consecutive year, with an income of $95 million.  Not bad for a writer whose first book The Thomas Berryman Number was rejected 30-plus times before someone was willing to take a chance.  Ultimately the book won an Edgar Award, one of mystery writing’s top achievements.   
                                                          A passionate campaigner to make books and reading a national priority, he has donated millions of dollars to colleges, bookstores, libraries and individual students, all with the purpose of encouraging Americans of all ages to read more books.   In recent years he’s added Young Adult books to his repertoire and like all his others, those, too, have been wildly successful.

“I'm a very good storyteller; I have a lot of compassion for people. That's very useful for a novelist,” he said.   “A lot of novelists are snots. They're just mean people.  I'm not a terribly skilled stylist, nor do I want to be. I want a lot of people to read one of my stories and go, 'That was pretty cool.' “

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