The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Reading Project Connects New Yorkers One Page at a Time

at 5:13 pm | By

“Instead of sharing another selfie, I shared all my books with the world.”

Typically, when you come across anything left on the sidewalk in New York City, your best option is to leave it there untouched. But what would you do if you came across a neatly-stacked, intriguing pile of books?

No, this isn’t somebody’s garbage left out for the taking, but rather the evidence of one man’s new social project that hopes to start a new chapter in the way New Yorkers interact and share their worlds in today’s digital age.

Since so many of us are constantly connected to our phones, iPads, or computers, it’s easy to forget to stop and smell the roses, especially in a busy, sleepless city like New York.

Could these books be the escape you’ve been looking for?

reading pazazz1992

Source: Instagram @pazazz1992/ Daniel Yim

Take a book, any book.

It all started when Shaheryar Malik was about to take a selfie on the Brooklyn Bridge.

reading humanviolenceauthor

Source: Instagram @humanviolenceauthor/ Daniel Yim

“I’ve been on that bridge so many times and every time everyone takes the same picture and does the same thing. I wanted to try something different.”

Instead of taking the same picture that everyone always takes on the Brooklyn Bridge, Malik decided to share something more meaningful, something physical.

reading 2 belen bermejo

Source: Twitter @BelenBermejo/ Daniel Yim

Returning home, Malik picked out hundreds of his own books and divvied them up into 8 groups of about 40-55. Then, he traveled around the city, leaving a pile of his own books in different locations from the Bronx to Bowery. Thus began the Reading Project.