James Patterson just gets more and more awesome!
I swear he does! First off he publishes a new book every few months it seems (don’t beleive me, check out the James Patterson shelf in any bookshop – they (and it will be they) will be groaning), but he’s also managed to write the Middle School series. I personally love Middle School because not only is it something I can hand over to my cartoon-loving I-will-never-read-anything-else-unless-it’s-like-Wimpy-Kid readers, I know it’s a more mature storybooks for pushing their reading and comprehension levels whilst still giving them a story they’ll enjoy and not be put off by with one look. With Patterson’s books he makes it possible for me to give them not just more of the same, but more full stop.
Anyone who gives me a reason to shove a book into a reluctant reader’s hand and for them to read it, devour it, and ask for more (as regularly happens) is instantly up there on a platform. But Patterson has gone even furthur! Now the chap’s standing up for and supporting indie bookshops with life-changing donations when things are, quite frankly, a bit pants for indies in the wake of eReaders and Amazon. Bookshops and libraries are in the same boat at the mo where they’re having to struggle to compete with the download-it-in-seconds-have-it-now-now-now online world of digital books. I’ve seen plenty of support for libraries (the last children’s laureate Julia Donaldson was particularly big on this) but I haven’t seen the same wealth of support so frequently for indie bookshops. It’s brilliant to see they’re getting some heavy hitting support and Patterson just keeps leaping those pedestals to literary godhood in my head. His support for indies and children’s reading is very well placed – digital reading is great (I know, I have been digitally reading since before the Kindle even launched over here in the UK), but I’ve still yet to find a single person who can browse an online bookshop as easily as they would a bricks and mortar one and, of course, this is secondary to the fact that not everyone can afford digital devices and/or books. Not every child owns a Kindle and bookshops and their atmospheres, their staff and (of course) their contents are valuable additions to our high streets and children’s reading. It would be a truly awful (if not cataclysmic) blow to see them go.
Rock on Mr Patterson and I’m pretty sure that the Literary God pedestal will have your name on it soon.