Books Jacket Copy

Shanghai metro creates a subway-only library for commuters

Chinese subway riders using Shanghai's Metro Line 2 will soon have their very own unofficial library. Pick up a book at one station, drop it off at any other.

The project was initiated by a bookstore, the subway line and the online education provider Hujiang.com. "Now you can read a real book, rather than staring at the cellphone through the metro ride," said Zou Shuxian, an Aizhi bookstore spokesperson, told the China Daily.

Special bookshelves are installed at the metro stations, containing rows books for the taking. There's no registration necessary, and no fee; readers are simply encouraged to make a small charitable donation when taking a book.

Many of the books came from donations from a program launched last year that also funneled donated books to underfunded schools.

Commuters have been quick to warm to the program, which launched earlier this month. During rush hour, lines form at the bookshelves. "Even if some books are not returned, we believe the overall benefit is worthwhile," a staffer told China Daily.

The air-conditioned metro has been a refuge this summer for Shanghai residents seeking relief from record-breaking heat; on Aug. 7, the city was 105.4 degrees, the hottest day in 140 years. Now, while hanging out on the platform, they'll have something to read.

ALSO:

There be dragons: 'Of Dice and Men' explores the story of D&D

A J.D. Salinger bonanza: Movie, bio and five unpublished books

Paul Yoon's 'Snow Hunters': a meditation on solitude and memory

Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Thomas Pynchon: Tracked but not found by New York magazine
    Thomas Pynchon: Tracked but not found by New York magazine

    Thomas Pynchon, the world's most famous reclusive novelist — after that chatterbox J.D. Salinger — "hides in plain sight, on the Upper West Side, with a family and a history of contradictions," writes New York magazine in a new feature. The story follows Pynchon in greater detail...

  • 97 years of typewriters
    97 years of typewriters

    For many decades, the typewriter was an indispensable tool for writers. It was faster than a pen and paper, more decisive than a pencil, more decipherable than a hasty scrawl. And, apart from its utility, it was a remarkable looking object, sometimes awkward, sometimes beautiful. Here's a...

  • In Eliot Pattison's moving 'Soul of the Fire,' a mystery in Tibet
    In Eliot Pattison's moving 'Soul of the Fire,' a mystery in Tibet

    Whether set in Southern Californian ethnic communities, Louisiana bayous or a blue-collar neighborhood in Boston, the more interesting mysteries take readers places they would otherwise never go. Foreign mysteries double down on the armchair adventure, mixing in exotic locales with...

  • Lindsay Hunter's 'Ugly Girls' plays it safe in the dark
    Lindsay Hunter's 'Ugly Girls' plays it safe in the dark

    If there was one book I looked forward to this year it was Lindsay Hunter's "Ugly Girls." For one thing, rarely has a title seemed more suited for a time period. Is American freakdom under threat or all the more in vogue when millennials come up with the term "normcore"? Something that could...

  • 'McGlue' casts a groggy sailor into a drunken murder tale
    'McGlue' casts a groggy sailor into a drunken murder tale

    When I was in the Navy, I knew a lot of drunken sailors: men who drank for the joy of being drunk, men who drank with the desperation of characters out of a Faulkner novel, and men who drank for a reprieve from the inflexible discipline that dogs those foolish enough to seek their fortune on...

  • 2014 in Review: David L. Ulin looks at the year in books
    2014 in Review: David L. Ulin looks at the year in books

    What was the upshot of my year in reading — the ideas, the through lines that most stirred or provoked me in 2014? The dominant thread was what we might call that of common experience, work that finds significance in incidental things.

Comments
Loading