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Author James Patterson gifts special holiday bonuses to 600 employees at independent bookstores

This holiday season, 600 independent bookstore workers are taking home $500 each, courtesy of bestselling author James Patterson, who has recognized the role they play in selling books.

Bestselling author James Patterson has awarded $500 bonuses to 600 employees at independent bookstores across the United States.

That's a total of $300,000, as the Associated Press reported on Wednesday, Dec. 13. 

The employees were nominated by their store owners, managers, peers, community members and others for the holiday awards, said the AP. 

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Additionally, the employees could nominate themselves. 

"Booksellers save lives," Patterson said in a statement on Wednesday posted on his Instagram page. 

"What they do is crucial, especially right now. I’m happy to be able to acknowledge them and their hard work this holiday season."

Patterson, who holds the Guinness World Record for the most No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, has sold more than 350 million books worldwide, said his publisher's website. 

He has a long history of honoring booksellers and librarians. 

In 2015, he won an honorary National Book Award for "Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community." 

"James Patterson has donated more than one million books to students, emphasizing some of the most under-resourced schools and youth programs in the country," said the National Book Award's website. 

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"In 2015, Patterson donated $1.75 million to public school libraries throughout the United States, [and] $1 million to independent bookstores" said the website.

That year, Patterson also donated $250,000 in holiday bonuses to bookstore employees. 

A tribute book co-authored by Patterson, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians," will be released in April, noted the Associated Press. 

"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. 

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"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."

On its website, the American Booksellers Association includes a congratulatory note to all the winners of this year's holiday award, with the recipients' names and places of employment listed — everywhere from Colorado to Vermont to Washington, D.C..

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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