The bookshop where you pay what you want

The bookshop is set out on a street in Nanjing, China

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The Independent Online

A bookshop has opened on a street in China - with no staff and where customers can pay whatever they want for the books.

The honesty bookshop, a venture from Popular Bookmall, opened in Nanjing’s Gulou district in July to encourage local people to read more, CNN reported.

Customers can pick from around 1,500 titles set out on four shelves on the side of Hanzhong Road. They pay using an honour system by putting their money in a lockbox.

“People stand in front of the bookshop, and ask themselves whether they should pay and how much they should pay. It’s a process of cleansing the thoughts of our hearts," the Popular Bookmall's marketing director, Zhu Min, told CNN.

Prices are set at 30 per cent of the cover price and around 60 book are sold per day. On its opening day, 300 were sold, according to CCTV News


Although the majority of customers do pay – prices are 30 per cent of the cover price - Zhu said the takings were five per cent below what they should be.

But he added: “If they can really finish the books, it doesn’t matter if they took the books for free. In fact, we are really happy to witness so many people taking books from the honesty bookshop.”