In São Paulo, your book is also your subway ticket

Originally posted on CBC Books on December 1, 2015

ticket books.jpgPhoto credit: Agência Africa — photo still from a promotional video

One publishing group in Brazil, L&PM Editores, is making São Paulo commuters’ subway reading a little easier. Rather than going to the trouble of carrying both your book and your subway fare, they’ve combined the two. They now sell a special collection of books, called Ticket Books, that come with subway fare built into them.

A nifty invention made possible through an RFID card in the back cover of the novel, the reader only has to tap the back of their book against a scanner on the turnstile. The books are preloaded with a set number of trips, then the card can be reloaded online.

They currently have a selection of ten books with the subway fares ranging from Agatha Christie to Garfield.

The initiative began as part of World Book Day, back in April when they were giving these books for free in subway stations. They are hoping to promote literacy and reading levels among Brazilians–who, on average, only read two books per year, according to their video.

Nothing like this has been tried in Canada, but who knows, maybe in the future, your book will get you across town…

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By Ayesha Barmania

Ayesha Barmania is an independent journalist, radio producer, audio artist and podcast consultant based in Peterborough, Ontario.