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The New York City Library Turns Classic Novels into Instagram Stories

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The New York City Library on Wednesday started posting classic novels and short stories to its Instagram account using photo and video storytelling.

“Insta Novels,” created by advertising agency Mother in New York and developed in partnership with the library, aims to make some literary classics more accessible to every New Yorker and Instagram user.

According to a new post from the Wall Street Journal, the new initiative is meant to spark love and appreciation for reading that may lead to more visits to the library. A New York Public Library (NYPL) spokesperson said that it also promotes reading to new audiences by interacting with the public on a digital platform.

“This project is directly in line with the Library’s mission is to make the world’s knowledge accessible to all,” said Carrie Welch, NYPL’s chief of external relations.

The program launched on the Library’s Instagram account (@nypl) on Wednesday with a newly digitized version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

“Instagram unknowingly created the perfect bookshelf for this new kind of online novel,” said Corinna Falusi, Mother’s partner and chief creative officer, in a statement. “From the way you turn the pages, to where you rest your thumb while reading, the experience is already unmistakably like reading a paperback novel. We have to promote the value of reading, especially with today’s threats to American system of education.”

Two additional books have been announced for future publication: Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, with all works drawn from the public domain, as their copyrights have lapsed. Beyond formatting the pages for Instagram, each book is getting a new animated cover and chapter covers that feature the same style of graphic design as the tutorial.

You can find the first Insta Novel, titled “Alice Part 1,” on the library’s Instagram page now.

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