(11 September 2017) Nine bookstores recently joined a book-sharing program in Hefei, Anhui province, China, after a trial that took place over a month and a half. That brings the total number of outlets to 10.
With a smartphone application and a 99 yuan ($15) deposit, a reader can borrow up to two books from any one of the 10 stores and keep them for up to 10 days free of charge.
“Readers just need to scan the QR code on the back of each book in the store to get everything done,” said Zhu Fei, a manager responsible for the book-sharing program at Anhui Xinhua Media, a State-owned company that runs the bookstores. The Sanxiaokou Xinhua Bookstore launched the program on July 16.
“Since then, more than 20,000 people have borrowed more than 100,000 books through the app,” said Huang Zhen, executive from Anhui Xinhua Media.
But not everyone wants to give the borrowed books back. A survey of 601 app users conducted by the company in late July found that more than 90 percent of the readers said they may want to keep some of the borrowed books permanently, but they don’t want to visit the store again to complete the purchase, Zhu said.
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