The Read & Return Books Airport Program: A Pricey Good Deal

Are you an avid reader who travels a lot? If you are, you’ll want to think twice before buying your next book from any store other than the airport. Yes, I said the airport. Who knew the airport bookstore could be your new best bookstore? You’ll love the Read and Return Program if you enjoy saving money like I do.

It’s understandable if you’re someone who flies frequently and is not familiar with this program. So, let’s spend a few minutes enlightening you on how to make your next trip more bearable and possibly save money at a pricey airport bookstore.

What Is the Read and Return Program?

Paradies Lagardere, the owner of 850 airport bookstores across 98 airports in the U.S. and Canada, understands the challenges of long flights, lengthy layovers, and flight delays. People get bored, there’s nothing to do, and if you had only remembered, bring a good book. Paradies Lagardere has made kicking back and relaxing with a good book possible on every flight and at every gate through their Read and Return Program.

Paradies Lagardere has been a leader in providing travelers with the essentials they need for their flights. They craft various brands, including TripAdvisor, Relay, 7-Eleven, Univision, and CNBC. Their retail outlets carry a variety of snacks, drinks, gifts, souvenirs, and your favorite book. Use their Read and Return Program to keep you occupied when you otherwise wouldn’t know what to do at the airport or on a long flight.

How Does the Read and Return Program Work?

The Read and Return Program at airport bookstores began in 2003. Yes, that’s right—2003. It’s been the best well-kept secret for decades. But as the economy skyrockets and buying books, especially in airport bookstores, can be pricey, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. Everyone who loves to read and travels frequently needs to know about this little airport bookstore perk.

Even if you’re not someone who flies frequently and only travels twice a year, it’s safe to say you can finish the book between layovers or before your next official flight. I mean you have at least six months to get your money back. So, why not take advantage of a program that will prove beneficial in the end?

Here’s how the program works:

  1. Buy a book from any Paradies Lagardere bookstore at the full price.
  2. Return the book with the original receipt within six months to any Paradies Lagardere airport bookstore (there are at least 850 locations).
  3. Get 50% of your money back.

Benefits of the Program

While most people try to stay clear of buying anything from the airport, as airport prices tend to be higher than the average retail price, I have to admit there are some benefits to the airport Read and Return Program.

1. It’s a Welcome Thought in Your State of Forgetfulness

Let’s say you had every intention of staying occupied during your long five-hour flight. You look in your carry-on bag to grab your book just before your group is called to board, and you realize—oh no! You forgot to bring your book! What are you supposed to do now? Luckily, the airport bookstore is right across from your gate, and you still have time before boarding is completed to race over and buy a good book to read, knowing you can return it and get half your money back.

2. An Airport Bookstore at Half Price Is Not a Bad Deal

So, even though most of us would agree that we would not spend money at the airport on anything that wasn’t necessary. You have to admit, it’s not a bad deal if you pay a little more for a book at the airport, only to get half of that back when you return it—even if it’s at your next destination. Yep, if it’s a long enough flight, you could possibly finish that book before you touch down.

3. You Could Purchase a Book for Only Half the Price

One of the perks of returning a used book is that the store now can only sell that book at half price. Imagine walking into a bookstore and seeing books on a table for half the price. That’s a little exciting for anyone—especially at an airport bookstore!

What Happens to Returned Books?

One of the conditions of getting half your money back from the Read and Return Program is that the book has to be in good condition—gently used. The bookstore will resell the book for only half the price if it is. Make sure the original receipt is with the book when you return it, or it’s a no-go, and you may not get your money back. One of the ways to ensure you still have the receipt is to use it as a bookmark as you’re reading.

If the book is more used than the bookstore would like, you can still give it back (if you want to take it off your hands), and the bookstore will donate the book to a local library.

The Bottom Line

While it may be a little pricey to purchase a book at an airport bookstore, remember that if the bookstore participates in the Read and Return Program, the end price may not be so bad after all.

And don’t let the name fool you. You’ll unlikely find a bookstore with the name Paradies Lagardere since they’re the bookstore owners. The bookstore will likely go under one of its brand names. Look for a sign advertising the promotion in the bookstore. If still in doubt, ask the staff. They’ll let you know if the bookstore has the program. If not, keep walking. Chances are the bookstore you’re looking for is at a different gate or possibly at your next destination.

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