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A Guerrilla Literacy Group Is Conspicuously Leaving Books in New York's Subways

Picture of Michael Barron
Books and Digest Editor
Updated: 8 May 2017
Books on the Subway is placing books on seats, benches and other nooks in the hopes that people will pick them up and read them.
Image courtesy of Books on the Subway
Image courtesy of Books on the Subway

A new initiative to get people to read is always worth a cheer, but one literary advocacy group is promoting books with an inventive tactic.

According to the New York Times, a group called Books on the Subway is leaving books at and on various New York’s subway stations and trains. Headed by Rosy Saliba Kehdi and Hollie Fraser, who began a similar project in London’s Tubes, Books on the Subway uses volunteers (including celebrities such as Emma Watson and Dylan Minnette) to plant books, up to 20 per day, and posting their deposits on their various social media accounts.

“when you find a book on the subway, you’re compelled to pick it up,” Ms. Fraser told the Times, “because it feels like serendipity.”

The group, which began its activities in 2013, has grown large enough to drop books every weekday from now to September and will include new releases and classics from both major publishers and lesser-known indie authors.

You can learn more about the initiative by visiting the Books on the Subway website.