Notes From Underground: Moscow Turns Metro Stations Into eBook Libraries

By Sarah Zhang on at

We can all aspire to better ourselves during our commutes, but it's so easy to get distracted by the fun things on our phones that are not bleak Russian novels. Moscow, however, is making a stand for literature, turning its underground stations into digital libraries for downloading Russian classics.

The digital library project is currently being piloted in a few of the city's 195 metro stations, according to the Guardian. By scanning a code while waiting the platform, commuters can browse and download over 100 eBooks drawn from classic Russian authors such as Gogol, Chekov, Pushkin and Dostoyevsky.

There's plenty of ways to download free public domain books to your phone, but it usually involves some third-party app and more fiddling than you'd really like. Am I going to go through all that to read Tolstoy on the train or am I going to pull to refresh Twitter again? Might just be me.

Putting books front and centre at Moscow's metro station is certainly a nice gesture to get people reading again. Would you want to see your train station giving out free eBooks? [The Guardian]

Top image: Moscow metro station. Boris Bartels/Flickr