As a big fan of bookstagram and discovering all these amazing new accounts doing exciting things I love coming across unique bookish ideas. Even better when they are some what local. I was super excited to come across an account by the name of @booksontherail. Two women in Melbourne, Australia have come up with a brilliant initiative to encourage people to put down their smart phones and pick up a book on their daily commute. This involves using their best ninja skills to deposit books on public transport, trains, trams, whatever you like for unsuspecting commuters to discover. A sticker on the front of the book explains the premise: pick up the book, read the book and then return it to public transport for someone else to discover. What a great concept!
Things just got even better as the initiative has gathered more interest and momentum as the girls decided to go national. Naturally, I decided to contact them in order to get Books On The Rail to Adelaide, and so it shall begin. The question was, what books do I send out? I didn’t want to just send out any old books just for the sake of it, or to move along some I knew I wouldn’t read again. Instead I wanted to pick books than east something to me, that I wanted to introduce to others. Of course I had to be smart about it, I have no idea who my audience will be. I needed books that aren’t too long, books that are easy to get into and build momentum, books that are likely to appeal to a large cross-section of people.
What books did I pick, you ask? Well three came to mind straight away. The first I selected was The Five People You Meet In Heaven. An absolute favourite, must-read, always a recommendation of mine. I love the concept it is build on, I love the magic of the story and I want others to experience it for themselves. It also happened to fit all the criteria, easy to read, not too long, could easily be read by any gender or age and be relatable.
The second book is from a favourite Aussie author of mine, Tim Winton. Breath is probably my favourite novel of his (so far). I first read this book six weeks into an overseas trip. I was solo, a little travel weary and missing home. I picked up this book and while it was far from a happy story I was so consumed by it’s pages I had to finish it. It has been a favourite ever since. I still own my copy bought in a random book store in the canals of Amsterdam and regularly reread it. I feel it is one of his more under-rated stories so thought I would share the love with the Adelaide commuters.
The last book I chose was a hilarious read I could’t put down, How To Talk To A Widower by Jonathan Tropper. I feel a slight amount of guilt for putting this out there to be read on a daily commute as I found when reading it myself I was laughing out loud a lot. Trooper is another favourite author of mine and while some people may be familiar with This Is Where I Leave You from it’s movie counterpart, I wanted to spread the love with his heart-breaking, yet hilarious, stories about real life. People dealing day-to-day with their sorrows.
Have you read any of these books? Would you recommend them? I also have one sticker left, what books would you recommend to entice readers on their daily commutes? I would love to hear your suggestions! If you are living in Australia and want to get on board or are just generally interested, hit Ali and Michelle up on their website. If you are living in Adelaide, stay tuned and keep your eyes open on public transport.