Book nerds have a whole new reason to travel. Brazil's L&PM Editores now sells pocket-sized editions of classic literature and comics at turnstiles, and these books double as subway passes. A reading-incentive-slash-travel program has finally become a permanent installation, and that's worth celebrating.
Previous attempts at linking reading and public transportation have been short-lived. Sure, the Subway Book Review Instagram is still going strong, but the summer promotion that waived passengers' fares for reading on the bus? Gone. And the Books on the L program in Chicago? Seems pretty seasonal.
L&PM Editores' Ticket Books project started out as a promotion for World Book Day in April. The publisher gave out 10,000 books — each of which was pre-loaded with 10 free rides — at Sao Paulo subway stations. The books, which have scannable RFID cards, can be reloaded at the Ticket Books website. They can also be given away to friends once their owners have finished reading them.
The success of L&PM Editores' giveaway prompted an expansion to other major Brazilian cities. In a country where the average adult reads only two books per year, that kind of success is huge for a reading incentive program.
Readers across Brazil can now purchase Ticket Books right at the turnstile. Each book features original, subway-map-inspired cover art. Available titles include The Art of War, The Great Gatsby, Hamlet, and Murder Alley, among others.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be looking up one-way tickets to Sao Paulo.
Image: Eugenio Marongiu/Fotolia