New Yorkers, You Can Now Get Free Books On Your Commute

by Kerri Jarema
The New York Public Library

So, the MTA, or The Metropolitan Transit Authority, is the hub of all New York City commuters. Their buses, and the subway especially, is the main way that people get around in Manhattan and throughout the five boroughs. And though it gets us from point A to point B every single day, we tend to complain about it...a lot. See, the MTA has its issues: because there are millions of people in NYC, the subways are often overcrowded with riders, especially during rush hour. For example, it's not uncommon to have your face stuffed against someone's armpit at 7 a.m because it's literally the only place you'll fit. There are lots of delays thanks to constant construction (and maybe track fires caused by the trash that clogs up the tracks on a regular basis), not to mention some safety issues. When you've got the entirety of a huge city depending on main mode of transport, things can get a bit sticky.

But with the new Subway Library initiative from New York City's public libraries, New Yorkers and visitors to the city can get what they want even more than personal space on the F train: free books. The MTA has partnered up with the NYPL, Brooklyn Library and Queens Library to launch the Subway Library, a special, six-week long joint promotion providing customers with access to hundreds of free e-books, e-shorts, and extensive excerpts from full-length books, to enjoy during their summer commute. MTA customers in underground subway stations can connect to the free TransitWirelessWiFi™ through their network settings, and click on the prompt to start reading. The Subway Library site allows readers to browse and download content in a variety of curated categories.

Riders can access e-books and short stories from The New York Public Library’s permanent collection, as well as excerpts made available through the generosity of publishers including Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Random House, Plympton, and Simon & Schuster.

The New York Public Library

If you're lucky, you might even catch a ride on the special Subway Library train that has been decorated to look like the famous (and stunning) Rose Main Reading Room inside the 42nd Street branch of The New York Public Library. The train will alternate running on both the 6 Av corridor and the 8 Av corridor lines on the E and F lines. Another bonus? Riders who use the hashtag #SubwayLibrary and tag @TWWiFi and @MTA on Instagram or Twitter will be automatically entered to win one of six prizes (either one of three Amazon Kindle Voyages or one of three one-of-a-kind prizes from The New York Public Library). If that's not enough to make you look foward to hopping on that packed subway tomorrow morning, we don't know what is.