The New York City Subway Now Doubles as a Digital Library

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New York City’s library system is going underground. Ten subway cars redesigned to match the interior of the Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library hit the tracks on June 8. The book spines decorating the seats, walls, and ad banners are just for decoration, but hundreds of actual texts are available to commuters as soon as they step in the station. For the next six weeks, anyone can download free books from New York City libraries when they connect to the Transit Wireless Wi-Fi network, The New York Times reports.

The initiative, dubbed “Subway Library,” is a collaboration between the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Transit Wireless. It follows the launch of free Wi-Fi throughout the New York City subway system late last year. Prior to the roll-out, the only reading options for passengers were hard-copies or digital materials downloaded ahead of time. Now, anyone with a smart device can decide what they want to read after boarding the train.

The New York Public Library has a few suggestions for commuters stuck on what to read next. These include short excerpts perfect for single rides and full texts that might come in handy during extended delays. To get the full experience of reading a digital library book in a mobile library setting, keep an eye out for trains branded “SUBWAY LIBRARY” on the E and F lines.

[h/t The New York Times]