USA Today’s travel blogger Harriet Baskas investigates the airport bookstore to find out which one is the best in the country for bargains, deals and the like. HMS Host’s Simply Books, with outlets in nine airports (Charlotte, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City and San Antonio) offers a Passport to Savings program that awards a free book after the 8th purchase. The Hudson Group, which sells books in more than 300 airport locations, including 70 Hudson Booksellers stores, gives anyone who buys a book a free bookmark and anyone who buy three books a free canvas travel tote bag.
Baskas also looks at a number of airport used bookstores like Renaissance Book Shop at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport, which may be the oldest used bookstore in an airport. Located pre-security, the store’s shelves are crammed full with anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 books â€” everything from general fiction and biography to local and regional history and back copies of Life magazine. Dave Long, a staff member at the bookstore for more than 25 years, says customers include frequent travelers, “meeters and greeters” and folks who come to the airport just to browse. “It’s always great to see someone just light up when they find something they’ve been searching for.”