A modern-day scavenger hunt is taking place as books are being hidden in the many nooks and crannies of London Underground stations, waiting to be found by avid readers and eagle-eyed commuters. The organization behind the book movement is called Books on the Underground and has a very simple, but selfless mission: to make sure there are books traveling the Tube network to be found by lucky travelers who read them and pass the story forward. Since 2012, the organization relies on “Book Fairies” to stealthily distribute a variety of new and used books throughout the underground city. This week’s Book Fairy happens to be the talented actress and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson.
Watson has been delightfully sprinkling books throughout London with her signature charming style. The actress, who loves to read, has a particular affinity for essays on equality which help her give powerful speeches on women’s rights. She has even started her own feminist book club on Goodreads called Our Shared Shelf. In the past, the club has read books such as How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein, and My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. With a long list of favorites to choose from, the book Watson ultimately selected for the Books on the Underground project is Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou—which also happens to be her book club’s latest read.
Tucked inside each copy is a handwritten note from the bibliophile herself, welcoming the lucky reader to their newly found book. “Just one hundred copies were hidden on the Tube…” the note reads. “Take special care of it and when you are finished please leave it on the Tube again for someone else to find.” She also encourages people to write their comments and questions about Angelou’s novel on Our Shared Shelf’s Goodreads page. Watson’s vision for the world is a place where people read, talk openly, and share with each other. This week, she is making it happen…one book at a time.