Los Angeles County has just made a decision that is bound to make book lovers happy.

In order to encourage literacy amongst the younger generations who may be more used to playing on their smart devices, LA County libraries are no longer charging library late fees for young readers under the age of 21. To make it even easier for the kids, they have also all been automatically signed up for library cards by their schools.

For those who already have a pre-existing late fee balance, the library offers a unique way to pay it back: by reading it away.

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Kids can now go to their local library and tell the librarian that they would like to pay off their balance. In turn, the librarian will start a timer and for every hour the youngster spends reading, $5 is taken off of their debt. According to the LA Times, at least 100 students every week have read away their debt and a total of 3,500 blocked accounts have been cleared. This debt relief can also be used for paying off lost or damaged books as well.

The program has already had a major effect on readership in the county. 15,000 kids have used their new library cards and parents said they were 80% more likely to allow their children to check out books due to the relaxed policy.

It seems that the smell of old books can still have a place in the younger generation’s hearts – they just need a bit of a boost.

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