Friday, June 09, 2017

A Win-Win No Brainer for Amazon or Barnes and Noble

"Be on the lookout for a train with 10 subway cars that have been covered in bright blue, purple, green, orange and yellow.
The train — which is alternating between the E and F lines in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens — is decorated with the words “SUBWAY LIBRARY.”
Inside those 10 cars, the seats resemble books on a shelf.
Beginning today, the Subway Library will offer commuters six weeks of free downloadable books from the city’s public libraries.
But you don’t need to be in a library car to take advantage. When you enter a subway station, connect to the Transit Wireless WiFi network available at all underground stations. When you’ve logged on, you’ll see a prompt for SubwayLibrary.com, and — voilĂ  — you can start browsing and downloading books, short stories, chapters and excerpts donated by publishers to the New York Public Library. The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Library, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Wireless created the project.
“It used to be that you were ‘unplugged’ on the subway, and even though you’re connecting to the wireless now, you’ll still have the sense of being unplugged when reading books,” said Lynn Lobash, manager of reader services for the New York Public Library. “It’s a lot different than the frantic sense of checking your email or being on Twitter.”
You’ll find short reads curated for the quick commutes, and long reads for the farther destinations or delayed rides. You can explore New York stories, children’s titles, young-adult novels or new releases in the “New and Noteworthy” category."CC "

This article was copied from The New York Times 6/9/2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/nyregion/new-york-today-subway-library-mta-nypl-frank-lloyd-wright.html
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Note From Lew- What an innovative , thoughtful idea.
Hopefully other cities will offer similar services , maybe some will even have "real books" Personally I would be pleased to pay an extra fare to ride in a library car with real books and a librarian.
If you are so inclined  send this on to your local transit system. 
 I am going to send a copy of this posting to the marketing director at Amazon. It seems like it would be a win -win no brainer for them.

 In the golden era of railroad transportation library cars flourished.
Here are two examples of bookplates used in railroad cars.
"The Atalanta was a private  railroad car built  for Jay Gould, a noted financier and owner of several railroads. It was built in 1888 to Gould's specifications and was named the "Atalanta". The car had four staterooms, two observation rooms, two baths, an office, a kitchen, a dining area, and a butler's pantry. Only the finest materials were used. Upon Gould's death, ownership of the car fell to his son George Jay Gould who was also a railroad president. The car remained in the Gould family until the 1930s. It was then used as a private residence during the Texas oil boom until finally coming to Jefferson Hotel in 1954. Today it is a tourist attraction in Jefferson Texas". 
I suspect the bookplate was designed in the 1930s.

In 1901 The Alton Road (railroad) hired J.W.Spenceley to engrave the bookplate shown above.
In writing about this subject in the Journal Of Library History (vol15,No.4) Phillip Metzger mentions that During the 1850's and 1860's , railroads began heavy competition for first class passengers and that the development of the "vestibule" or flexible covered connection between cars made it safe for passengers to move about the train. Railroads began attaching parlor cars to their crack trains and the parlor car shortly thereafter became the " library -buffet smoker car".
"The Chicago and Alton(C&A) traced it's roots back to 1846, eventually developing a triangular route between Chicago, St . Louis, and Kansas City.The C& A also carried President Lincoln's body on the final leg of it's journey to Springfield. In 1900 The Alton Limited was probably the premier train of the ten or eleven the C&A ran daily, leaving Chicago every morning at 11 A.M. and arriving in St. Louis at 4:30 P.M."
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If you plan to be in New Zealand before July 5th you might wish to see this bookplate exhibit.
http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/news/2017/ex-libris--art-for-bibliophiles-features-in-uc-exhibition.html