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Toys "R" Us Stores in UK to Hold Quiet Hour for Shoppers With Autism

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Back in May, the Manchester branch of Asda, one of Britian’s largest supermarket chains, introduced an early morning “quiet hour” of shopping for customers with autism. At 8 a.m., the store turned off its music, electronics displays, and escalators in order to create a more peaceful shopping environment for customers who are prone to over-stimulation or anxiety. The program was an immediate success, with other branches quickly following suit. Now, Toys “R” Us is endeavoring to make the most wonderful time of the year a comfortable experience for all shoppers. According to The Telegraph, several UK outposts of the behemoth toy store chain will hold a “quiet hour” of holiday shopping on the morning of Sunday, November 6.

In addition to making the experience music- and announcement-free, the stores will also dim their lights and reduce the amount of fluorescent lighting being aimed at patrons. According to the Autism Society, approximately 1 percent of the world’s population lives with an autism spectrum disorder; since 2000, the number of children affected by it has increased by nearly 120 percent. In the U.S. alone, more than 3.5 million people are afflicted, which makes gaining a deeper understanding of what it’s like to live with the disorder so important.

“We’re delighted that Toys ‘R’ Us is again showing the way by hosting an autism-friendly shopping event in every Toys ‘R’ Us store in the lead up to Christmas,” said Daniel Cadey, autism access manager for the UK’s National Autistic Society. “Simple changes like this can make a huge difference to the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and to their families, and we hope that many more major retailers will follow the great example set by Toys ‘R’ Us.”

[h/t: The Telegraph]

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Everything You Need to Know About Record Store Day
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The unlikely resurgence of vinyl as an alternative to digital music formats is made up of more than just a small subculture of purists. Today, more than 1400 independent record stores deal in both vintage and current releases. Those store owners and community supporters created Record Store Day in 2007 as a way of celebrating the grassroots movement that’s allowed a once-dying medium to thrive.

To commemorate this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21, a number of stores (a searchable list can be found here) will be offering promotional items, live music, signings, and more. While events vary widely by store, a number of artists will be issuing exclusive LPs that will be distributed around the country.

For Grateful Dead fans, a live recording of a February 27, 1969 show at Fillmore West in San Francisco will be released and limited to 6700 copies; Arcade Fire’s 2003 EP album will see a vinyl release for the first time, limited to 3000 copies; "Roxanne," the Police single celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will see a 7-inch single release with the original jacket art.

The day also promises to be a big one for David Bowie fans. A special white vinyl version of 1977’s Bowie Now will be on shelves, along with Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), a previously-unreleased, three-record set. Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, and dozens of other artists will also be contributing releases.

No store is likely to carry everything you might want, so before making the stop, it might be best to call ahead and then plan on getting there early. If you’re one of the unlucky vinyl supporters without a brick and mortar store nearby, you can check out Discogs.com, which will be selling the special releases online.

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The Little Known Airport Bookstore Program That Can Get You Half of What You Spend on Books Back
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Inflight entertainment is a necessary evil, but the price can quickly add up without the proper planning. Between Wi-Fi access and TV/movie packages, you can run into all kinds of annoying additional charges that will only increase the longer your flight is. Thankfully, there is one way to minimize the cost of your inflight entertainment that’s a dream for any reader.

Paradies Lagardère, which runs more than 850 stores in 98 airports across the U.S. and Canada, has an attractive Read and Return program for all the books they sell. All you have to do is purchase a title, read it, and return it to a Paradies Lagardère-owned shop within six months and you'll get half your money back. This turns a $28 hardcover into a $14 one. Books in good condition are re-sold for half the price by the company, while books with more wear and tear are donated to charity.

If you haven’t heard of Paradies Lagardère, don’t worry—you’ve probably been in one of their stores. They’re the company behind a range of retail spots in airports, including licensed ventures like The New York Times Bookstore and CNBC News, and more local shops exclusive to the city you're flying out of. They also run restaurants, travel essentials stores, and specialty shops. 

Not every Paradies Lagardère store sells books, though, and the company doesn’t operate out of every airport, so you’ll need to do a little research before just buying a book the next time you fly. Luckily, the company does have an online map that shows every airport it operates out of and which stores are there.

There is one real catch to remember: You must keep the original receipt of the book if you want to return it and get your money back. If you're the forgetful type, just follow PureWow’s advice and use the receipt as a bookmark and you’ll be golden.

For frequent flyers who plan ahead, this program can ensure that your inflight entertainment will never break the bank.

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