Those who can’t resist reading a good book on public transport have been rewarded by a city in Romania, which offered a free bus ride to anyone who read a book during their journey.
The initiative, which ran for a week in June, was proposed by Victor Miron, a book-lover and resident of Cluj-Napoca in north-western Romania.
To encourage more people to read on public transportation, I proposed to our mayor Emil Boc that the city not charge passengers who read books. It took me more than a year to make this proposal a reality. Long story short, between the 4th and 7th of June 2015 everyone who “travelled by book” in Cluj-Napoca rode free of charge.
The city’s mayor posted the idea to his followers on Facebook, which received such an overwhelmingly warm response that a year later it was put into action. “I believe that it’s better to promote reading by rewarding those who read, instead of criticising the ones who don’t,” said Miron
I also do other campaigns with my friends to promote reading, for instance, Bookface. People who have a book on their Facebook profile picture receive discounts in all sorts of places, from book stores to hair salons and even in dental practices. Another action we carry out is on the 23th of April (World Book Day). On this day, people who have a book with them can visit for free the local Botanical Garden.
Other initiatives to celebrate the event and promote reading in the city included using the city’s buses and trams to display inspiring quotes from classic and contemporary authors, giving out bookmarks to the general public and a weekly book club which ran throughout June also in the Cluj-Napoca’s botanical garden.
Miron also organises other campaigns to promote reading including Bookface, which encourages people to post photos of themselves reading in their Facebook profile pictures.
After convincing the mayor to celebrate his love of all things literary, Miron says that his biggest challenge now is to persuade Mark Zuckerberg to Book-face his Facebook profile picture.
So lets keep our fingers crossed.