Free Reads on the NYC Subway

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Subway Reads offers up free literature timed to your commute.

NYC subway, 1973. By Erik Calonius

The underground literary scene in New York City will now be a little easier to find. This weekend, the New York Transit Authority, in partnership with Penguin Random House, launched Subway Reads, a new program designed to promote Wi-Fi accessible MTA stations (175 and counting) and to liven up commuters’ rides with some good reading. Anyone with a phone or a tablet and a subway ride ahead of them can now download a short story or book excerpt timed to last the length of their commute (10-, 20-, or 30- minute reads). The (free) service is available for the next eight weeks via the Subway Reads site. And in case you were wondering, yes, as a matter of fact, we looked through the selections, and we have a few recommendations…

From the 10-minute reads

An journey of the mind: On the Move, Oliver Sacks

A raucous commute: Super Sad Love Story, Gary Shteyngart

Dystopian theatrics: Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

From the 20-minute reads

The one everyone’s talking about: Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

An NYC flâneur: Open City, Teju Cole

Tales of the Bowery: Up in the Old Hotel, Joseph Mitchell

From the 30-minute reads

A wizardly bildungsroman: The Magicians, Lev Grossman

The best of Brooklyn: Bright Lines, Tanwi Nandini Islam

Office revolt: The Assistants, Camille Perri

Don’t worry, if you can’t finish in the allotted time, you’ll keep the download to finish later. Sadly, we can’t do anything about the looming L train disaster.

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