James Patterson is burning books in an attempt to persuade Barack Obama of the parlous state of reading in America. The bestselling thriller writer, who is already in the process of giving £250,000 to independent booksellers in the UK and $1m to US bookshops, has released a dramatic video in which books are hurled by a crowd onto a mounting bonfire of literature.

“There’s a book burning going on in America,” says the author in a voiceover. “You’re invited. Especially the kids. You see they’re shutting down your local bookstores. Shutting down libraries. Publishers are dying. American literature will be next on the flames.”

Enough,” he cries, as Moby Dick burns. “I’m James Patterson. We can stop the book burning.”

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James Patterson Burns Books to Promote Reading