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James Patterson promotes new book during visit in Jacksonville
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James Patterson promotes new book during visit in Jacksonville

  • PublishedMay 24, 2024



Patterson opened up about book banning in schools, his humble start, and giving back while promoting his new book, “The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Fans of popular author James Patterson filled the auditorium at the Main Library in Downtown Jacksonville for the Jacksonville Public Library’s Lit Chat series last month.

Patterson shared insight on his writing process and life experiences. Good Morning Jacksonville Anchor Keitha Nelson caught up with the bestselling author as he promoted his new book, “The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians.”

Patterson’s choice of clothing for the evening spoke volumes. The words “Read Banned Books” were written on his sweatshirt.

When asked about his Maximum Ride series being pulled from school bookshelves in the Martin County School District in 2023, he said: “Maximum Ride is harmless, 30 million kids have read it.”

“It’s silly to ban a book like that. And then, what’s even sillier is one woman came in who had not read Maximum Ride and she complained, and they took it out of the school libraries. That’s just in my opinion, nuts. You know, what’s much more serious is some of the authors who have been banned. And some of the subjects that have been banned, that’s more serious stuff. And that’s where it gets a little bit more dangerous,” he added.

Dubbed one of the most prolific writers in the world, and one of the wealthiest, the upstate New York native’s humble start leads him to give where he sees a need.

“It goes back to the way I was brought up,” Patterson told First Coast News. “It’s a reflection of my mother and my grandma. Their thing is just basically, give back.”

Patterson’s philanthropic efforts to help students become passionate readers includes millions of dollars and donated books.

He’s come a long way from Newburgh, New York.

“My hometown, Newburgh was ranked the sixth most violent small town in America,” Patterson said.

He began writing at the age of 19 and roughly 10 years later, in 1976, Patterson published his first novel, “The Thomas Berryman Number.” And after being turned down by 31 publishers, it won the Edgar Award for ‘Best First Novel.’

“With writers, you just kind of have to figure out what you do most beautifully,” Patterson said.

Patterson currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. You can check out his full interview streaming right now on First Coast News+ Roku, Apple and Fire-TV or on YouTube here.

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