Recently, the bookstore nearest my little shop was renovated. In the months since Christmas it looked terribly shabby, with dusty shelves, no new books (and consequently, nearly no customers) and a general air of neglect. With a competing bookshop rapidly expanding its number of stores, this one needed help, badly.
Luckily, the people running the store realised this and quickly took action. The newly redecorated shop is bright and cheerful, with well-stocked shelves. The management also kickstarted business and showed off the new look with a fantastic promotion - a book swap.
For the weekends of June, old books with pages intact (apart from school texts, reference books and a few other exceptions) were accepted by the store and in return customers chose as many books as they gave back from a roped off area containing tables of unmarked remainders, brand new sealed books that didn't sell too well, and the titles others had returned.
Over three consecutive Saturdays, I exchanged 27 books that I'd read but didn't love and couldn't give away for 20 spanking new books and seven secondhand ones that I'd been wanting to read (or never even heard of but looked interesting) and couldn't believe I'd gotten for free. Some of the new books have been put aside for presents, others may be swapped again once I've read them. Apart from the fact that I still have too many books for the number of shelves in my flat, a bookswap is really a no-lose situation. I hope the bookstore makes this a regular thing.