Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Biblio File,

Announcing #SubwayLibrary: Free E-Books for Your Commute


Subway Library

We're excited to announce the launch of Subway Library, a new initiative between The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Library, the MTA, and Transit Wireless that provides subway riders in New York City with free access to hundreds of e-books, excerpts, and short stories—all ready to read on the train.

As part of the Subway Library celebration, don't miss the specially wrapped "Library Train," with the interior designed to look like NYPL's Rose Main Reading Room! The train will alternate running on the E and F lines, running through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

How to Access the Subway Library

To access the Subway Library, MTA customers in underground subway stations can connect to the free TransitWirelessWiFi through their network settings and click on the prompt to start reading from a large selection of titles for all ages. The site was developed with the same technology we used to create our free SimplyE e-reader app.

Subway Library

Take a Photo with the Library Train and Win a Prize

Transit Wireless is giving riders a chance to win prizes—just post a photo with the Library Train or a Subway Library poster using the hashtag #SubwayLibrary and tag @TWWiFi on Instagram or Twitter, and you will be automatically entered to win an Amazon Kindle Voyager or a special prize from the NYPL Shop. Share a photo of yourself either near the Subway Library posters— which will appear throughout the system—or while riding the one-of-a-kind wrapped Subway Library train. Two  winners will be randomly selected every other week and will be notified via direct message on the social media platform on which they posted. They will also be announced by @TWWiFi across social media. Learn more about the contest from Transit Wireless.

Book Recommendations

So, what's available via the Subway Library?

We have the first chapters of popular books—enough for a train trip or two. If you'd like to read on, download NYPL's SimplyE app to check out the full book. We also have the complete texts of dozens of classics and a great range of short stories you can read in a single sitting.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Eat the City by Robin Shulman

While underground, read about the city's history with food, production, and the culture at large.

Excerpt; a half-hour read. Part of our New York Stories section. 


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

A New York Times bestseller getting a ton of well-deserved attention right now. The story of two lovers in a country on the brink of civil war, and their decisions about where, how, and when to leave.

Excerpt; a half-hour read. Part of our New & Noteworthy section. 


The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell

Read a full essay—"Awkward Thoughts About Superheroes and Doc McStuffins"—from Bell's hilarious new collection.

Full essay; an hour read. Part of our Selected Short Reads section.


Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

Scare yourself silly with this tale of madness and memory. Our extensive collection of thrillers to read underground also includes heavy hitters like James Patterson, Sandra Brown, David Baldacci, Douglas Preston, and more.

Excerpt; an hour read. Part of our Thrillers section.


From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Does Subway Library also have books for kids and teens? Indeed it does. Hand your phone over to your kid or read it again yourself, and remind yourself why getting stuck in the Met overnight would be the coolest thing that could ever happen to you.


Excerpt; a half-hour read. Part of our Children's section.






Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you'd recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Book Recommendation

I recommend _My Crush_ by Hailey Reede. It's a short and sweet summer read that I really enjoy - and know that others will, as well. :). It's appropriate for all ages. Hailey Reede is an indie author. New York is a great place for indie authors.

Recommendation of comic novel

Heartily recommend Dream Job, Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager - fun read about travails of lonely employment manager at out of control medical center in nyc.

Post new comment