The New York Public Library helped 300,000 people read classic novels using Instagram

Written 7 months ago by IanDorfman

In a unique move, the New York Public Library has been uploading classic literature with new animations for the digital age to Instagram.

The project, appropriately titled Insta Novels, focused on enticing those unlikely to seek out classic literature on their own to find and appreciate it. The presentation of each book uploaded was founded upon a simple premise: "If this book were to be released today, and the cover could move, what would that be?" It takes the full texts of each book selected and adapts them to work on smartphone displays, with easily readable fonts and enticingly active animations.

Since the project's launch in August of 2018, an estimated 300,000 people have read through classics such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Metamorphosis on the Facebook-owned Small Instagram iconInstagram photo-focused social network. Each classic uploaded to the service features animation from a different artist, an approach taken in order "to make the text feel especially relevant" for modern readers and Instagram users. Each individual artist also provides their own unique conceptualization of the story.

The project takes advantage of Instagram's Stories function in order to deliver these classic written works, with all of them accessible via the New York Public Library's official Instagram page.

Further coverage:
Fast Company
Mental Floss
New York Public Library blog post
NPR