It's amazing what is for rent in certain countries. For example, in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, it's very common for people to rent newspapers.
Large crowds gather in common areas, and sit on the steps to rent, and read the news. Many of the readers are poor, many of them students, and renting newspapers is an affordable way for Ethiopians to get their news and keep up to date on current events.
A newspaper in Addis Ababa typically sells for what is the equivalent of 15 cents, in North America. Ethiopians can rent a newspaper for about 4 cents.
Internet access is not widely available in Addis Ababa. Few people own computers, or have access to the internet. There is some public internet access available in cafes, but it typically costs the equivalent of 1 dollar per hour, a price that is not easily affordable for poorer city residents.
So renting a newspaper is the most affordable option, and makes perfect sense for many Ethiopians. The readers are typically the younger crowd, and students. The average age of the readers is 21. Comparatively, in North America, Newspapers are struggling to engage younger people as readers, and sell them newspapers.
Ethiopians are very interested in current events, and what is going on in the world, particularly the situation in North Africa. Many believe it is time for there to be democracy in countries such as Libya, and are awaiting the outcome of the uprisings. Other topics of interest for newspaper renters in Addis Ababa include Sports, Technology, and Politics.