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The Perk of Buying Books at the Airport No One Knows About

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 9/5/2018 Meghan Jones
a person standing in front of a store © ymgerman/Shutterstock

If you’ve done a lot of traveling, you’ve probably noticed that the bookstores at airports all look pretty similar. They’ve all got familiar logos, the walls of inviting plane snacks, and, of course, the towers of new hardcover books. Chances are you’ve wanted to grab one of those books for the plane ride and, if you’ve got a long flight, read it cover to cover. However, those hardcover books are a little pricey. Is it worth it to splurge, for the sake of relieving the midair boredom? Also, check out the secret perk of buying electronics at the airport no one knows about.

Yes. Yes it is—because of a cool program that these bookstores have in place. These similar airport stores are all owned by the company Paradies Lagardère, and all of those stores take part in what’s called the “Read and Return program.” Yup, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Whenever you buy one of those books, you’ve got six months to finish it and bring it back to the same, or another, Paradies Lagardère location. When you do that, you get half your money for the original purchase back. Awesome, right?!

So, if you’re going on a trip, buy that book you’ve been dying to read, and read it on the plane (or over the course of the trip). When you go back to the airport for the return trip, bring the book back with you and get half the money back. That money’s now yours again, to use however you want. While you’re still in the bookstore, go ahead and get that other book you’ve been dying to read. Or the sequel to the book you read on the way there. Either way, your boredom on the flight back is cured, too. And it gets better: the book you gave back will be re-sold for half price! Here’s what you can get for free at an airport.

There are two things you do need to make sure of. You have to bring back the receipt to get your money back (PureWow recommends just using it as a bookmark!). Also, the book needs to be in decent condition. (But if it’s not, they’ll still take the book back, and donate it!) But other than that, this program couldn’t be easier. In a way, it’s like a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal for books. Or…get two books for the price of one-and-a-half. Either way, count us in. Next, read about the things you should never, ever buy at the airport.

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