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Books in Transit

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SEPTA is always looking for ways to improve your experience and commute each day. That's why we created Books in Transit, an initiative designed to give you a more enjoyable ride. We're now offering free literature to all of our riders.

Each month, SEPTA will rotate titles to appeal to a variety of interests and keep you coming back for more. This program will launch in 69th Street Transportation Center, Jefferson Station, and 1234 Market Street. Visit the Sales Office at these locations and peruse the titles available. If you see a Books in Transit decal on the cover, it's an open invitation to take, read, and share that book. 

It's that simple. 

Background on Books in Transit 

Books in Transit is modeled on similar programs from New York to New Zealand. Current cities participating in this global book-sharing movement include New York, Washington, Kolkata, Toronto, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Montreal, Boston, Buenos Aires, and more.

Books in Transit was spearheaded by Barbara Nolan of the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her years as a daily SEPTA commuter had her asking “how can we share great writing together as riders, and highlight how lucky we are as Philadelphians to have a strong mass transit system?” Barbara got wind of Books Underground, London’s book-sharing program on their Tube, and knew it was the answer for Philly. She determined start-up costs and used her contacts in the publishing industry to acquire books. Then, she partnered with SEPTA’s George Spellman, Director of Customer Service Development and Research; together they put together plans to get Books in Transit!

Books in Transit would not be possible without the help of Penguin Random House, who have thus far supplied all of the titles for the launch of this program. Penguin Random House is the international home to nearly 250 editorially and creatively independent publishing imprints.


The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood 

My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Mama Day, by Gloria Naylor 

World War Z, by Max Brooks

The Good Son, by You-Jeong Jeong



Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks

American Wolf, by Nate Blakeslee

Young-Adult Fiction 

Spellbook of the Lost and Found, by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, by Julie C. Dao 

Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor

Children's Books 

The Secret Lives of Unicorns, by Dr. Temisa Sepahini, illustrated by Sophie Robin 


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