News

The New York Public Library Lets You Read a Novel on Instagram

A new initiative launches handheld reading for classic literature.

(all graphics courtesy of the New York Public Library)

The New York Public Library is globalizing its reach with a newly launched initiative, “Insta Novels,” available to anyone with an Instagram app. “Stories” are being given new meaning on the social platform, with full-length prose being posted on the library’s Instagram story with accompanying animated illustrations and graphics.

The first novel published to the social media service is Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel, Alice in Wonderland. The surreal Wonderland-inspired graphics were designed by conceptual illustrator Magoz.

The NYPL says they had hoped to mimic the feel and layout of classic books on the screen, with the innovative and engaging element of artistic design on select “pages.”

With the popularity of e-readers and Twitter accounts that post excerpted historical writing in real time, the initiative opens up unprecedented possibilities for cyberliterature.

Books published before 1923 are considered public domain and digitally available through initiatives like Project Gutenberg, but the library has revitalized them with motion graphics. Soon-to-come literature includes digital renderings of Franz Kafka’s 1915 novella The Metamorphosis, and 1892 short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

The project targets younger readers, those who may not have access to the NYPL, or those who find themselves too busy to peruse the shelves to enjoy literature from the comfort of their home, office, or public transportation.

“This project is directly in line with the Library’s mission is to make the world’s knowledge accessible to all,” Carrie Welch, The New York Public Library’s Chief of External Relations, said in an annoucement.

The program was created with the independent advertising agency, Mother. Once posted, the digitized literature will be constantly available on the NYPL’s Instagram “Highlights.”

comments (0)