The New York Public Library is using Instagram Stories to bring classic novels to your smartphone

The New York Public Library is taking classic novels and transforming them into animated Instagram Stories, as reported by Engadget. Through a partnership with New York ad agency Mother, it’s created “Insta Novels,” converting books into a fun, more eye candy-driven format that could draw in a generation of younger readers.

The first book the library has made available to read is Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the first part can be found in the highlights section of the New York Public Library’s Instagram account. The text is included in full, augmented throughout with bits of animation and modern illustrations by Magoz. To read, simply view the Story as normal, and hold your thumb down to stay on a page and complete reading the text. You can then lift your thumb to let the Story advance to the next page. A nice touch — there is a small section in the bottom right corner marked as the place to hold your thumb, so it’s not only intuitive to figure out, you’re also not blocking any text in the process.


New York Public Library Insta Novels

The library plans to release several other books this way over the next couple of months, including part two of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Charlotte Perkins’ The Yellow Wallpaper, and Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. It’s a wonderful idea, with the only downside being that if you lose your place… it would be a chore to find it again, though there are page numbers included (Instagram Stories bookmarks, perhaps?). Who knows if people will actually read an entire novel in this format (as opposed to an ebook), but it’s a neat effort on the part of the library to bring reading where the people are.

If you want to check out the format and visit Wonderland, the New York Public Library’s Insta Novel launch is today.