A month ago, a bookstore in Hefei, capital of East China’s Anhui province, grabbed the spotlight as it allowed readers to take books home free after paying a 99-yuan ($15) deposit.
Ever since the book-sharing service was initiated, the store - affiliated with Xinhua Bookstore, the country's largest book circulation and distribution network - has received nearly 8,000 visitors, double the number for the same period a year earlier, and lent 80,000 books, about 88 percent of which have been returned, according to Zhao Shiping, manager of the bookstore.
Compared to the common once-and-for-all book-buying mode, the store offers readers more options. “When I found the book I bought was not my cup of tea, I had nothing to do but leave it dusty. But now after a preview, I can choose whether to buy it or to return it,” a customer surnamed Xie said, insisting that it’s more convenient, efficient and economical to use the book-sharing service.
Many minds think alike. In just a month, the app used to borrow books from the store got over 20,000 downloads. More than 80,000 copies were lent, of which some 70,000 were sent back, Zhao said.