China: Writer starts ‘Books on the Chongqing Light Rail’

Bookstore owner was inspired by English actress and ‘book fairy’ Emma Watson

A bookseller in Chongqing municipality has been leaving novels on trains and at stations to inspire more commuters to read, after seeing British actress Emma Watson take part in a similar project in London.

Author and bookstore owner Jiang Lin, 29, randomly placed 40 works along the city’s light-rail system on Sunday.

Those who find a book can read it in public or take it home, but they are encouraged to leave it again on public transportation once they have finished with it, Jiang said.

“I considered the needs of commuters,” he said. “I hope strangers can feel comforted by the books and feel connected with other readers.”

All 40 books were chosen from Jiang’s store, Razor’s Edge Book Club, which he opened in the summer, and included fiction and nonfiction, with topics ranging from art and social sciences to philosophy and history.

Jiang’s Books on the Chongqing Light Rail project follows the same model as Books on the Underground, which was started in 2012 and sees “book fairies” leave works on London Tube trains and at stations. Read more