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August 16, 2013

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Scheme offers light reading for Metro journeys

When you take a Metro Line 2 train from Pudong International Airport to Hongqiao Railway Station, would you like something to read to help the 90-minute journey pass more quickly?

But if you think a book or magazine too heavy to carry about, there’s now a solution.

A book borrowing service on Metro Line 2 starts from Sunday. Passengers can borrow and return a book or magazine from 16 stations along the line which connects the Pudong International Airport and the western Hongqiao transport hub.

Just 1 yuan (16 US cents) is charged for picking up a book or magazine from “Aizhi Bookstore” — supplier of the reading materials — or from a “help-yourself bookshelf” set up by Aizhi in Metro stations.

Passengers can return these anytime at any service spot. No deposit or identity information is required.

“We always try to encourage people to read more,” said Yu Jie, head of Aizhi. “Setting up this concept for reading on Metro trains is part of our effort.”

A total of 16 main stations along Metro Line 2 are covered by either Aizhi bookstores or their help-yourself bookshelves.

They have about 10 more spots on other Metro lines and about 30 more spots in office buildings and residential communities.

Readers can borrow or return books or magazines from any of the 60 branches — with no deadline for bringing books back, said Yu.

Reading material on 100 subjects — including fashion, economics, literature and geography — is available at each service spot.

However, only a limited number are in English.

Yu said most of the stock was donated or collected during recycling campaigns.

“We provide a large number of magazines with lots of pictures, which makes an easy and relaxing reading experience for Metro passengers. And they don’t have to carry them about, they can return them before leaving a station,” said Yu.

The service is already on trial in popular stations like the Pudong International Airport and Nanjing Road W. stations.



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