Underground New York Public Library

The Underground New York Public Library is a visual library featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways.
This project is not affiliated with The New York Public Library

Search

Find UNYPL on:

"The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007: The Best Stories of the Year," Compiled by Charles D’Ambrosio, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Lily Tuck; Edited by Laura Furman.

Borrow I Read

2012 Highlights from the Underground New York Public Library

Here are ten highlights from almost one thousand photographs that have become part of the UNYPL in 2012. Each photo posted in the library is beloved. The Reading-Riders have thoroughly inspired me, in their presence and in their act of transcendence. Photographing and interacting with them in the past year has impacted me as a photographer and as a person.To them, Thank you!

Sharing the UNYPL has been so rewarding. It became part of everyday to hear from those who were inspired in one way or another by the people in the photographs. I love the idea that we inspire each other, that we experience others and we become greater for it. Thank you to everyone who has liked, shared, responded and written over the past year. You helped me build this library and I’m looking forward to taking it into 2013.

New posts will begin after Jan. 1st. A Happy and fulfilling New Year to everyone!

  1. "Ask the Dust," by John Fante
  2. "Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good", by Kevin Smith
  3.  "The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued," by Ann Crittenden 
  4. "Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature’s 50 Greatest Hits," by Jack Murnighan 
  5. "Othello" by William Shakespeare 
  6.  "To the Finland Station ," by Edmund Wilson
  7. "Bared to You," by Sylvia Day
  8. "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," by Harriet Jacobs
  9. "Don’t Be Sad," by Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni
  10. "The Savage Detectives," by Roberto Bolaño

UNYPL in 2012: Kids

It was an extra pleasure to photograph and interact with these reading-riders. From the past year, here are the kids in the Underground New York Public Library:

  1. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw," by Jeff Kinney &"Warriors," by Erin Hunter
  2. "Blueberries for Sal," by Robert McCloskey
  3. "The Year of the Hangman," by Gary Blackwood
  4. "Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy," by Tui T. Sutherland
  5. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone," by J.K. Rowling
  6. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel," by Jeff Kinney
  7. "Callie’s Rules," by Naomi Zucker
  8. "The Mother-Daughter Book Club," by Heather Vogel Frederick
  9. "The Adventures of Tintin," by Hergé
  10. eReader

UNYPL in 2012: The Regulars

It’s about to be a full year that I’ve been blogging the Underground Library. It’s been a year of so many discoveries and experiences. One discovery I had may seem plain, but it felt profound to experience it through photography. I discovered that a reader is… a Reader. In looking for people who were reading, I found that they were there as a kind. Books weren’t just an item they had with them. They were indications of a larger relationship that defined them. When I posted a reader whom I had photographed twice, someone commented that it was like a love story. I like that and I agree. Readers are in love with the world around them, and their relationship with the books that reveal it to them is an enduring one. 

Here are four readers I happened to see twice over the course of the year. Regulars of the Underground Library. From top to bottom.

  1. When I first saw him, he had started reading “New York,” by Edward Rutherfurd. More than a month later, I saw him again when he was almost done with it.  
  2. I saw her in the summer, when she was reading "Consider the Lobster and Other Essays," by David Foster Wallace. On a recent cold morning I saw her again, still with David Foster Wallace, but this time reading his ”The Broom of the System.” 
  3. One of the first readers I photographed, I loved his hat and glasses. Last year he was reading ‎”Killing Time: The First Full Investigation into the Unsolved Murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman”, by Donald Freed. Eleven months later, I recognized him because of his hat and glasses. I wasn’t sure why I recognized him, until sure enough, he took a book out of his bag. This time he was reading ”Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon,” by Aram Goudsouzian
  4. I first saw him late one night, when I was tired and on my way home. But Jack London wasn’t yet in the Underground Library, so I took my camera out and photographed him. Early in the morning a month later, I was tired again when I saw him again, enjoying another story in ”To Build a Fire and Other Stories,” by Jack London.

November 2012 Highlights From The Underground New York Public Library

1. "Moby-Dick," by Herman Melville 2. "Steve Jobs," by Walter Isaacson 3. "This Dark Earth," by John Hornor Jacobs 4. "The Imperfectionists," by Tom Rachman 5“Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion de desesperada y cien sonetos de amor,” by Pablo Neruda, and “Time Travel and Warp Drives: A Scientific Guide to Shortcuts through Time and Space,” by Allen Everett and Thomas Roman. 6. "The Casual Vacancy," by J. K. Rowling 7. "Cometas en el Cielo," by Khaled Hosseini 8. "The Torah with Rashi’s Commentary: Vol. 1, Genesis," Edited by Rabbi Yisrael Herczeg 9. "The Alchemist," by Paulo Coelho 10. "A Bad Man Is Easy to Find," by M. J. Verlaine

Past Highlights

‎”Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil”, by Deborah Rodriguez on Flickr.

Read Kabul Beauty School

Loading posts...