Books helped make “Harry Potter” actress Emma Watson a star. Now she’s paying literature back by leaving free books with personal notes in London subway stations.
Watson planted copies of Maya Angelou’s memoir “Mom & Me & Mom” around the London Underground on Tuesday, she revealed on her Facebook page, 100 copies in all. The book is the latest selection for Our Shared Shelf, the online feminist book club she started in January.
“I’ve been hiding copies of Mom & Me & Mom for Books on the Underground on the tube today!” Watson wrote. “See if you can find one tomorrow!”
The actress and United Nations women’s goodwill ambassador also posted a short video clip showing her placing the books on the side of an escalator, smiling, as commuters pass by her, seemingly unaware.
Some Londoners have already found the books, and they took to social media to share their excitement.
An Instagram user named Jenny posted a photo of the book and note she found, with the caption “When @emmawatson makes your day with secret books on the tube.”
The note, signed by Watson, reads in part: “You are the finder of Our Shared Shelf’s bimonthly book choice .... Take special care of it and when you are finished please leave it on the tube again for someone else to find.”
And on Twitter, a user named Yokeu Kusnama posted about the book she found, writing, “I lost a brand new book today but my Fairy Book Mother took pity and sent this to me on the central line train.”
Watson’s giveaway was part of the Books on the Underground program, started in 2012 to encourage London commuters to leave books for others to discover. According to the program’s website, “book fairies” give away more than 150 volumes weekly.
Watson also hopes to draw attention to Our Shared Self, which has more than 146,000 members on its Goodreads page.
The club’s previous selections have included Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis,” Maggie Nelson’s “The Argonauts” and Carrie Brownstein’s “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.”