Elliott batTzedek, poet and bookseller.

Elliott batTzedek,53, is a poet and the Outreach Coordinator at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia’s Mt. Airy neighborhood. She is also one of a special group of booksellers nationwide who just received a holiday bonus check from James Patterson. Yes, that James Patterson.

As a poet and a bookseller in a small independent bookstore, batTzedek was thrilled to receive the unrestricted $2500 check from Patterson. “In the world of poetry, this is a lot of money,” she said, money that will be put to good use. “I’m going to use the money to pay for the first complete run of my debut chapbook, The Enkindled Coal of My Tongue,” she said, adding that any leftover funds would help pay for bills she accrued from a recent move.

The 149 bonus checks ranged from $1000 – $2500 each, all paid from Patterson’s own private funds. It’s something the bestselling, mega author does every year as part of his promise to support the bookselling industry. “It’s amazing that he does this,” said batTzedek. “This work [poetry and book selling] is never going to pay well, so it really matters that he’s giving back.”

Indeed it does.