Sharing economy inspires libraries and readers in south China

Updated 2017-09-18 11:30:36 CGTN
A sharing bookcase near Hainan Library.

A sharing bookcase near Hainan Library.

Avid readers in south China's Hainan Province have found a new way to read more books without any extra expenditure, thanks to the booming sharing economy.

Inspired by the sharing model, several libraries have launched "sharing bookcases", encouraging readers to exchange their books with others.

There are now nine such bookcases near Hainan Library, which are open to the public 24 hours a day.

People can put books they've finished into the bookcase and take away other titles that interest them.

During the summer vacation, the bookcases played an active role, said Li Tong, curator of the library.

"There are on average 20 new books added to the bookcases every day, and there are about 400 books in circulation every month," said Li.

A similar model dubbed "drifting books" has also emerged in residential communities, mostly initiated by individuals.

A bookcase near Hainan Library.

Chen Baiyu, a university lecturer, set up a drifting-books station in 2015. He selected books from his own collection and several left by his neighbors, and put them on a shelf near the mailbox with a notice to inform passersby.

Many neighbors have joined Chen in running the drifting-book station, and now there are three shelves at the station, all full of books.

Anyone living in the community can take home the books they would like to read, with only one requirement: They have to return them after finishing reading.

Several libraries, including private ones, have adopted similar measures to encourage people to read.

Starting in 2014, they have been establishing community libraries. Hainan Library provided 1,500 books for each community, covering various categories.

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