Books may be the only thing worth buying at the airport

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Plenty of money traps are lurking at the airport, whether in the inflated cost of coffee (whoa, triple shot of sticker shock!) or the chair massages that command high prices because there are so many achy bodies lumbering around terminals.

But one good deal you can actually find at airports? Books! In fact, one major airport retailer will let you return your purchased books and get 50 percent off your next book.

You’ve probably noticed that airport bookstores are just about everywhere throughout the terminals. They’re pretty uniform, too. Neck-supporting pillows at the front of the store, packs of gum near the register, an assortment of airplane snacks, plus walls of magazines and books to keep you entertained while in-flight or on a layover.

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The majority of these bookstores are owned and operated by Paradies Lagardère, a travel retailer. In fact, the brand has mostly saturated the airport market with 850 stores and restaurants in 98 airports throughout the United States and Canada. You’ll find their bookstores under names like The New York Times bookstore or CNBC bookstore.

Through the “read and return” program that the bookstore chain offers, you can purchase a book at any of their bookstores—then you can return the book at any of their bookstores and get 50 percent back.

There are a few restrictions, of course. For one, you do need your receipt (use it as a bookmark so you don’t lose it!). Additionally, the book needs to be returned within six months and be in good condition.

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If you’re a voracious reader, you could buy a book at one airport and have it finished by the time you land on the other side of the country, especially when you factor in layovers and delays.

Another frugal idea for travelers, of course, would be to check out books and even magazines at your local library in advance of your trip. You’ll probably be surprised by some of the freebies you’ll find at the library, too (think: American Girl Dolls and arts and craft kits).

library photo
Getty Images | Thomas Lohnes

Oh, and need some book ideas for your next flight? Goodreads readers have determined these are the 100 best books of all time.

Happy flying!

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About the Author
Brittany Anas
Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure.

I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Visit Scripps News to see more of Brittany's work.

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