Buy a Book, Ride the Subway for Free in Brazil

In News by Dennis Abrams

A selection of Ticket Books on offer.

Five of the ten Ticket Books on offer.

An innovative book promotion by Brazilian publishers embeds RFID cards in the back of books offering buyers 10 free subway rides.

By Dennis Abrams

According to research by the Instituto Pró-Livro, Brazilians read only around two books per year. And so, to help increase that number publisher L&PM Editores, working with Agência Africa, has created Ticket Books – one part literature, one part subway pass – all to help celebrate World Book Day and promote reading.

Each title has an RFID card embedded in the back cover that comes complete with 10 rides worth of credit: the reader simply scans their book at the turnstile just like a subway pass. And to make it even more accessible to the average subway rider, Agencia Africa partnered with Via Quatro, the company that manages one of Sao Paolo’s subway lines, on a campaign that set up subway stations as distribution points, allowing people to pick up their books at the turnstiles.

And when the ten credits are used up, it can be recharged online and, if the customer has finished the book, passed along to a friend.

There are ten titles in the Ticket Books collection, each with a subway themed cover: Peanuts: Friendship. That’s What Friends Are For by Charles M. Schulz, Garfield: Sorry by Jim Davis, Hundred Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Murder Alley by Agatha Christie, Chives In Trouble! by Mauricio de Sousa, and Quintana Pocket by Mario Quintana.

10,000 books were distributed, and the idea proved to be so popular that LP&M is now expanding the program into other cities in Brazil.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.