American novelist James Patterson is on a mission. His goal is to get more people to read and to "draw attention" to illiteracy.
"People are indifferent and that's crazy," the best-selling author told CNBC's On the Money in an interview. "They're not understanding how essential it is, especially reading."
About 14 percent of the adult U.S. population—some 30 million Americans—can't read, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. Literacy rates in the U.S. have remained about the same for the past decade.
The author of the popular Alex Cross series told CNBC that the rate of people who can't read is "stuck because people don't care enough." For his part, the author is tackling the issue with both his time and money.
The National Book Foundation just presented him with its 2015 Literarian Award, honoring the author's "lifetime of achievement in expanding the audience for books and reading," praising his "literary activism."