Forgo the chocolate and roses this February 14, because Penguin Random House will leave more than 500 books on public transport across the country to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The books will be wrapped in orange paper to hide their identity and encourage commuters to pick one up without knowing its author, genre or cover design. The idea is for passengers to take a book they wouldn’t normally choose. There’s no way to tell if you’ve got a new release or a modern classic, a local or an international title.
Books will be dropped in bundles on trains all over Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Darwin and Launceston. Plus, in NSW, packages will also be placed in more than 50 street libraries from Paddington to as far as Nowra on the south coast, giving residents a chance to find something new to read.
Penguin Random House is distributing the books in collaboration with Street Libraries Australia, which encourages communities to create free honour-system libraries in public places, and Books on the Rail, whose “Book Ninjas” leave books on trains in the hope people will put down their phones and pick up page-turners.
“For us Book Ninjas there is no greater romance than finding the perfect read,” said a Books on the Tail spokesperson in a statement. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Penguin Australia to spread the love this Valentine’s Day, adding more books to our 5000-plus novels already in circulation on Australian public transport.”