LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- City National Bank's Reading is The way up® nonprofit literacy program, in partnership with Barnes & Noble, today announced the donation of 52,000 new books with a total value of more than $150,000 to 28 elementary and middle schools, as well as a handful of nonprofit groups, in California, Nevada, New York City, and Nashville, Tennessee. In an effort to promote literacy and support the local community, the book donations were part of the 6 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, which is also celebrating its 60 th Anniversary this year. (For an image related to this story, go to https://cnb.com/PublishingImages/nashville-tusculum.jpg. Caption: 28 Schools and nonprofit groups in four states are receiving new books this year.) Customers at 16 Barnes & Noble stores in four states donated over 26,000 new books, which City National matched with $75,000 for an additional 26,000 new books to be purchased through Barnes & Noble by the school librarians at each of the schools receiving books. This donation also set a record for the number of books ever donated through this holiday program. "Every year this program just seems to get better and better, even with today's economic challenges," 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 225,000 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 16 stores in the four 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.