There's a new kind of passenger cruising around Melbourne's public transport network — and you might just find yourself taking one of them home with you.
A new movement called Books on the Rail has seen a diverse collection of books set loose on the city's trains, trams and buses — kind of like a roving public transport library. The initiative was started back in April by two Melbourne ladies, Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, as a local interpretation of London's Books on the Underground project. It's intended to reignite Melburnians' passion for reading and turn passengers' eyes from their iPhone to a page in a book.
About 300 books have already infiltrated the transport system at the hands of local 'book ninjas', each tome bearing a Books on the Rail cover sticker and a flyer explaining the ins and outs of the initiative. Travellers who happen upon one of the books are invited to take it home and read it, and then return it to a service for the next lucky bookworm to do the same.
If you find a page-turner the world (or, more specifically, Melbourne's commuters) simply needs to know about, you can become a book ninja yourself. Simply email email@example.com to request a sticker, whack it on a book and set it free to be discovered by countless other local literary fiends.
So next time you're battling it out with Melbourne's public transport system, you might want to put down that iPhone and keep your eyes peeled — who knows which well-worn tram seat your new favourite novel is hiding under?