Southern California bookstores make plans for James Patterson’s money

The Skylight Books kids section in 2005, tucked against the far wall behind "gardening" and "pets." The bookstore will redesign its kids and YA areas with a grant from James Patterson.
(Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)

James Patterson is giving bookstores another $473,000, he announced Monday. Over the last year, Patterson gave more than $1 million to bookstores around the country.

Five of the stores that will benefit from the latest round of grants are located in Southern California. Here is what they’re hoping to do with Patterson’s holiday gift:

Skylight Books in Los Angeles, which received $5,000, plans to completely redesign the area for its kids’ and young adult books, which are now in a corner near the bathroom. “When we opened Skylight in 1996, our urban neighborhood demographics consisted in large part of young singles in the arts or academia, professional couples and older adults,” co-owner Kerry Slattery said in a statement. “We need to completely rethink the space to make it more browser-friendly, have better design and expand some of the subsections.” The proposed new plan will be colorful, interactive, and give kids a place to sit and read.


Flintridge Bookstore in La Cañada will use its grant dollars to rent a 300-seat auditorium, walking distance from two schools, to be able to bring major visiting authors to the community.

Pages: a Bookstore in Manhattan Beach has been participating in off-site book fairs. Patterson’s grant will support that, enabling it to secure more book storage space and purchase additional mobile sales equipment. (The store is also looking for more “face-out” bookshelves — and it sounds like Skylight might be getting rid of some).

Once Upon a Time bookstore in Montrose will be making physical improvements to the store itself, replacing windows in front and creating a welcoming back patio with a broad awning to shelter book groups and more.

Book Soup in West Hollywood plans to launch a children’s programming initiative that will expand offerings for kids at the store, connect authors with schools and help provide books to school libraries.

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