James Patterson gives cash to San Diego indie book stores

SAN DIEGO – Two San Diego bookstores will benefit from a pledge by best-selling author James Patterson to donate $1 million to independent booksellers.

Mysterious Galaxy in Clairemont Mesa and The Yellow Brick Road in Liberty Station are among the first 55 recipients of grants annLibary booksounced this week by Patterson. Grant amounts range from $2,000 to $15,000.

Mysterious Galaxy specializes in the mystery, science fiction and fantasy genres. The Yellow Brick Road primarily sells children’s books and young adult stories.

Patterson said he doesn’t “think we’re saving any stores, but we’re helping them” in the face of competition from chains and online retailers.

Store owners say independent book stores have special appeal.

“It’s the employees who know the books and the customers come in and appreciate that,” said Bunny Hand, manager of Mysterious Galaxy.

The program by the author of such books as “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls” is designed to help the bookstores remain strong in their communities, help children learn the joy of reading and maintain strength in American literature.

Patterson is looking for additional stores to fund. He said they must be viable businesses and have children’s sections. An application is posted on his website at http://www.jamespatterson.com.