A nice idea, shared by Shelf Awareness last March, but it hasn’t hit New York yet I fear.

Underground Library on the R (for Reading) Train

“Three Miami Ad School students have created ‘an innovative concept that allows people to read the first ten pages of popular books while riding the subway,’ DesignTAXI reported, adding that when commuters have finished the sample they’ve downloaded from posters to their cell phones with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, they ‘will be informed of the closest library location from which they can pick up and read the rest of the book.’

Gothamist expressed a dose of Big Apple skepticism, calling the subway libraries ‘an interesting idea that will never, ever happen.’ While conceding the inherent goodness of ‘a proposal for how the NYPL could both keep straphangers entertained underground and simultaneously bring more bodies into its brick-and-mortar libraries,’ several technical hurdles were cited, ‘not the least of which is the fact that phones equipped with NFC technology are still very uncommon in the U.S.’

The alternative? ‘We’ll all just have to make do with the increasing number of subway stations with wi-fi–where users can log into the NYPL or one of the many e-book stores out there (all of which offer book samples already),’ Gothamist wrote.”

Here’s a link to the map of subway stations currently offering wi-fi service. The video has no official links with the New York Public Library. Note also the disclaimer at the start of the video — library use has in fact increased since the creation of the internet.