Archive for Monday, March 30, 1998

STORE TESTS RENTING BEST SELLERS

March 30, 1998

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A Lawrence bookstore is testing demand for rental of hardback books on the current New York Times bestseller list.

Sink into a favorite chair at home with a new copy of John Grisham's ``The Street Lawyer'' -- hottest selling fiction on the market -- for just $6.

For the same cost, delve into John Berendt's ``Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil,'' Toni Morrison's ``Paradise'' or any other title on the best-seller list produced by The New York Times.

Of course, there's a catch.

After two weeks, readers are expected to return rented hardbacks in good condition to the Raven Bookstore, 6 E. Seventh in downtown Lawrence.

``We're giving it a try. We hope it catches on,'' said Raven owner Pat Kehde.

The Raven is apparently the first local bookstore to rent new copies of bestsellers.

Kehde said she had visited a New York City bookstore that rented mysteries. The practice also has been tried in Japan, she said.

The objective is to get new books into the hands of readers at a reasonable cost, Kehde said.

``Publishers put prices on books that are pretty inflated, we think. This is another way for people who want to read a book to do so.''

Renters will be obligated to buy books they lose or significantly damage, Kehde said. If a person wants to keep a book, she said the rental fee could be applied to the purchase price.

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