MTA’s Subway Reads returns with more than 200 free books over transit Wi-Fi

The program includes essays and short stories at its 281 underground stations.

Never have enough time to read? The MTA is making it a little easier.

For the next six weeks, a swipe into any of the subway’s 281 underground stations gets you free short stories, poems, essays and book excerpts on any device with Wi-Fi access. Now in its third year, Subway Reads — a partnership between MTA, Transit Wireless and Literacy Partners — brings texts such as Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Roxane Gay’s “The Alienable Rights of Women” straight to commuters’ devices.

Riders can access the texts by connecting to Transit Wireless Wifi and clicking on the subwayreads.org prompt. Available works include essays and short stories from 13 publishers and excerpts from more than 200 books.

“With Literacy Partners on board and 13 publishers providing access to some really great reads, our third annual celebration of reading in the subway is set to be the best ever,” MTA chairman Joe Lhota said in a statement. “I am thankful that our friends at Transit Wireless made this celebration possible, and for keeping our customers connected while they ride. Literacy Partners should be commended for the great work they do, as should the publishers who have shared so much wonderful material for our customers to read.”

The campaign also includes a social media contest in which riders can upload photos of themselves near Subway Reads posters to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SubwayReads from Aug. 21 to Sept. 27 for a chance to win literary-themed prizes.

Abigail Weinberg