Saw a cool idea at a store in the Burbank airport: Read & Return offers traveling book buyers 50% of the cover price back if they turn in the book at another Paradies airport shop w/receipt within six months. (No help to me, given the time it takes me to even crack the cover of a new book these days.) Then they put the book back on the “Read & Return” shelf, at 50% off cover price. Presumably they pay the next buyer/returner 25% of the cover price, and the book goes into a limbo-like circulation at 30,000 feet at a 100% recurring gross margin to the store… until someone loves it enough to grant its deepest wish and make it a REAL boy.
Kind of a nice win-win: the store gets more book sales, at a decent markup (anyone in the publishing biz want to tell us what the typical margin on a new book at retail is?), and the inventory will naturally trend towards what people are interested in reading. The reader gets a cheaper book (if they buy a used copy and return it, they ultimately pay only 25% of the cover price), which might help some people take a risk on a new author or title they wouldn’t have at full price.