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All images via NYPL

If you ever find yourself without a book during a lengthy commute, the New York Public Library has got you covered. In collaboration with the MTA, New York State, TransitWireless and the Queens and Brooklyn Public Libraries, NYPL is bringing us the “Subway Library,” a platform that provides commuters with access to free e-books, short stories and more—whether you’re above or below ground.


Beginning today, the “Subway Library” will offer six weeks of free downloadable books, all provided by the city’s public libraries—and you won’t need a library card to access the literary trove. Simply download SimplyE, the library’s free e-reader app, to access the collection, or connect via TransitWireless Wi-Fi in any MTA station. (Once you’re logged on, you’ll be led to a prompt for Subwaylibrary.com, which is also accessible through a web browser.)

A subway train has been made to look like the iconic Rose Reading room with its stunning ceiling. Image via Bhushan Mondkar

Bookworms can choose from a range of books and curated short-stories (for quick commutes) including: “New York Stories” like The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro and At Balthazar, by Reggie Nadelson; “International Titles” like The Festival of Ghosts by Zheng Xiaolu and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry; and “Classics” like A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Crime and Punishment by Fyodor M. Dostoevsky.


To celebrate the launch of the project, a subway train has been decked out to look like the inside of the New York Public Library’s Rose Main Reading Room. You can find it running along the 6 Avenue and 8 Avenue corridor lines on the E and F trains.

Next, check out The Top 10 Secrets of the New York Public Library at Bryant Park and Fact Check With the “ASK NYPL” Librarian Hotline at the New York Public Library in NYC.

 MTA, new york public library, NYPL, Subway Library

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