December 1, 2015

When reading can transport you … because there’s a subway chip in the cover


Image via PSFK

Image via PSFK

Why bother with a subway pass when you can swipe a book instead?

Danny Lewis reports for The Smithsonian that L&PM Editores, São Paolo’s premier pocketbook publisher, is expanding its handsome line of Ticket Books: classic plays, comics, and novels that have subway chips embedded in their back covers.

The program began as a temporary promotion for World Book Day in April, when the publisher gave away 10,000 Ticket Books, each containing ten free subway rides. The books could be recharged if readers ran out of rides before they were finished reading.


The promotion was such a success that L&PM Editores has decided to make Ticket Books a permanent part of their publishing program and will be expanding to major cities throughout Brazil, as well as adding more titles to its current list (via Leah Gonzalez Angue at

  • Peanuts: Friendship. That’s What Friends Are For, by Charles M. Schulz
  • Garfield: Sorry, by Jim Davis
  • Hundred Love Sonnets, by Pablo Neruda
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of Baskerville, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Hamlet, by William Shakespeare
  • Murder Alley, by Agatha Christie
  • Chives In Trouble!, by Mauricio de Sousa
  • Quintana Pocket, by Mario Quintana

This campaign joins several others around the world that aim to encourage reading. As Lewis reports, “For a few days last June, bus riders in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca rode for free if they were reading and for a week in October, “Books on the L” turned some of Chicago’s subways into mobile lending libraries.”

Step it up, MTA.


Taylor Sperry is an editor at Melville House.