If you’re a sucker for surprises, keep your eyes peeled the next time you travel by the Chennai Metro and, if you’re lucky enough, a certain book fairy might have dropped a special gift for you.

21-year-old Samyuktha Nair, an ardent reader and bookworm herself, was fascinated with the idea of playing fairy godmother with books and decided to play her part in initiating the public to read. The disheartening sight of young and old passengers glued to their mobile phones got her wheels turning, and thus began the journey of Read On Rails.

Samyuktha Nair, founder of Read On Rails
Samyuktha Nair, founder of Read On Rails

Read On Rails is a not-for-profit mobile library by which books are being left on the seats or in the crevices of the Chennai metro rail for passengers to pick up, take home, cherish, and put back the next time they take the metro.

What’s the catch? There is none! Read On Rails operates with the sole intention of giving people good books to read.

The initiative was inspired by actress Emma Watson’s book project named ‘Our Shared Shelf’ in which the self-proclaimed “ninja book-fairy” stashed books on the metro and other popular locations for passers-by to discover. Earlier this year, a Delhi-based couple started a similar initiative named Books on the Delhi Metro which had humble beginnings but has now expanded to a project with more than 5000 followers on social media platforms and around 500 books in circulation.

Emma Watson hiding books as part of 'Our Shared Shelf'
Emma Watson hiding books as part of ‘Our Shared Shelf’

About the Book Fairy

Samyuktha Nair is currently a student in the EFL University, Hyderabad and is pursuing her Masters degree in English. She published her first book at the age of 16 in an attempt to retaliate against the lack of good books in her school library. She has authored 2 books – The Warriors of Javida and The Family Mystery – and is set to publish her third work soon.

Want to pitch-in?

Being less than a week old, there are only a few books currently in circulation, all of which had been donated by well-wishers. If you’re interested in contributing to the cause, check out the Read On Rails Facebook page and Read On Rails blog to get in touch and donate new/used books in good condition that you’d like people to read.

With a little determination and honest effort, you could become a book fairy in your own city and bring about a positive change, one book at a time.

Image Credits: Google Images

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