LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank's Reading is The way up® nonprofit literacy program, in partnership with Barnes & Noble, today announced the donation of 50,000 new books with a total value of $150,000 to nearly 33 elementary and middle schools, as well as a handful of nonprofit groups, in California, Nevada, New York City, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia. In an effort to promote literacy and support the local community, the book donations were the result of the 5 th Annual Holiday Book Drive last December at Barnes & Noble, the world's largest book seller, in partnership with the Reading is The way up program at City National. (For images related to this story, go to https://www.cnb.com/Style%20Library/Images/Holiday-Book-Drive-2012.jpg https://www.cnb.com/Style%20Library/Images/Holiday-Book-Donation-2012.jpg .) Customers at 17 Barnes & Noble stores in five states donated 25,000 new books and City National matched this donation with $75,000 for the additional 25,000 new books to be purchased through Barnes & Noble by the school librarians at each of the schools receiving books. These donations also set a record for the number of books ever donated through this holiday program. "There's no better literacy program that I'm aware of that promotes literacy in this country by putting books into the hands of students," said Carolyn Rodriguez, vice president and program administrator for City National Bank. "Literacy is at the heart of learning and City National is proud to partner with Barnes & Noble on this holiday book donation program. Since the inception of our Reading is The way up literacy program in 2002, we have now donated more than 170,000 new books to schools, libraries and nonprofit groups in five states." The City National and Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive ran from December 1 through January 1 and included 17 stores in the five states where the bank has a presence. City National and Barnes & Noble representatives are presenting the book and monetary donations to school administrators and students at school assemblies over the next several weeks. The bank's literacy mascot "Blue" is also taking part in many of these donation presentations.