Sometimes we hit the streets to rap to the kids about how important reading is. And they tell us that while they agree reading is as hip and radical as a pile of One Direction pogs, they just can’t get into something as boring and clearly meant for old people as books. “Can’t you put them on a computer or something?” they ask us in between doing tricks with their devil sticks. The Brooklyn Public Library knows what’s up with the kids, so they’ve signed up for a pilot program with Simon & Schuster to provide the library with their whole e-book catalog, starting April 30, according to a tip that landed in our inbox.
Yes that’s right, now in between recording sex Vines or whatever it is people are doing with their spacephones nowadays, you’ll be able to check an e-book out from the Brooklyn Public Library, the New York Public Library and Queens Public Library, so long as its a Simon & Schuster title anyway. Which, as it turns out, there are many good ones to choose from. Current bestsellers like Steve Jobs and fiction classics like Lonesome Dove and The Great Gatsby (soon to be a Baz Luhrman joint) will be available for you to scroll through with your fingers, in an approximation of turning pages.
It should be noted that this is a pilot program, being tested out in New York first, because New York is the best, clearly. Each library in the three systems will have copies of the books, but they can only lend out one copy at a time, presumably to simulate the frustration of not finding your book at a brick-and-mortar library. Once you’re in the e-book portal, you can also purchase any of the books in it, with a share of the proceeds going to the library you bought the book from. So you can be super-smug about supporting your local library. Which is totally deserved, because Jesus, they’re having a rough go of it lately.