The power of the written word may be going out of fashion, but Books On The Rail is hoping to change that.
Launched in April this year by Melbourne duo Michelle Kalus and Ali Berg, Books On The Rail is a public-run initiative that encourages reading through the distribution of books across our public transport network.
With over 400 books in circulation across Australia including new release novels, participants are encouraged to pick up a book adorned with a Books On The Rails sticker, free of charge. Members of the public can read their book before returning it to their local bus, train or tram for another reader.‘At first we were leaving our own books on trains and trams or buying them from second-hand bookstores and charity shops,’ Michelle says. ‘Since then the response from publishers and authors has been overwhelmingly positive, and we receive a box of books to distribute weekly!’
Books are also starting to hit V/Line and regional train networks, according to Ali. Independently travelling books aren’t limited to novels either, with children’s books, cookbooks and even colouring in books in circulation – although, staying within the lines might not be so easy on your peak hour bus home.
‘We want to create a movement where the community drives the initiative, rather than us,’ Ali says.Members of the public can join the book movement by purchasing stickers and signing up to become ‘Book Ninjas’. With over 500 Books Ninjas across the country, each member can disseminate their own collection of well-worn paperbacks emblazoned with a Books On The Rail sticker. Plus, you can even put ‘Book Ninja’ on your LinkedIn profile as a life skill…
Michelle and Ali hope one day you’ll be able to spot a free roaming Books On The Rail book every time you hop on the train.
While you eagerly await the next chapter of this story, you can keep up to date with the latest and greatest via Books On The Rail.