Anhui’s ‘shared bookstore’

To encourage reading, a popular bookstore lets customers take out books for a small deposit, instead of buying them outright.
The Sanxiaokou Xinhua Bookstore (合肥三孝口新華書店) in Hefei, eastern China’s Anhui province, has styled itself a “shared bookstore.”
Open 24 hours every day, it lets customers bring home up to two books worth under RMB150 (P1,140) per visit, after they register with an app, and leave RMB99 (P753) deposit. Returned books can be picked up by another customer under the same deal. Damaged books are sold at a discount.
Bookworms get a deal: finish 12 books in three months and get eight percent of the deposit back. As well, members can get RMB1 (P7.60) for each book read.
This system lowers the cost of reading for customers. As well, they will not accumulate books that once read, will not be read again. This is particularly true for children’s books which are set aside as youngsters grow up.
By bringing the books back, someone else can enjoy them without paying full price.
The scheme has been well received. On its first day, 200,000 visitors flooded the store, and 4,000 books were brought home, media reported.

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