Side Note

The New York Public Library is turning classic novels into Instagram Stories

You know what you’re not doing when you’re watching someone’s Instagram story? Reading a book. The New York Public Library, an organization that quite obviously cares about people reading books, wants to change this. A few days ago, they debuted a project called “Insta-Novels,” in which timeless works of literature are digitized and uploaded as Instagram Stories.

This might sound like a strange way to use Instagram, but when you check it out, it’s actually incredibly intuitive. The first book the NYPL has given the Insta-Novel treatment to is Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which serves as a great example of how the whole thing works. Each chapter is preceded by a little animation, after which you read the book just like you would an e-book. Every time you jump to the next page, an icon in the corner changes subtly to mark your progress. Every once in a while, a page will also feature subtle animation, which is very fun.

According to an NYPL press release, the next works to get the Insta-Novel treatment will be Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, which I have no doubt will be cool as hell.

Head over to the NYPL’s Instagram page to see the whole thing for yourself.