Readers now have a brand new and innovative way of experiencing literary classics right on their smartphones.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) announced on Wednesday that it’s launching Insta Novels, which allows users to read and experience classic novels through Instagram Stories. The new service is available through Instagram, and to access the books you click on the NYPL’s icon when located alongside other Instagram Stories or on the NYPL’s Instagram page.
And once you’ve opened Instagram Stories, you’re treated to illustrations and animation as well the actual text from a classic novel. To turn a page, you lift your finger off of your screen. The new service cost less than $10,000 for the library, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is the first book to be released through the NYPL with illustrations from Magoz. The next two books to be released are Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis with Buck illustrating The Yellow Wallpaper and César Pelizer animating Metamorphosis.
Once a novel is complete, the NYPL plans to collect all of the stories posted together with Instagram’s Highlights feature, a move that will essentially create a virtual library that anyone can access. (The service is not limited to those who hold a library card with the NYPL.)
“We want people to understand that libraries aren’t just those brick-and-mortar places full of dusty books,” NYPL chief branch library officer Christopher Platt told the Wall Street Journal.
With the service just launching, it’ll take some time to see how Insta Novels works in practice. The selection of novels that are released on Instagram might be limited—the three novels selected to launch Insta Novels fall under public domain—and it may garner similar debates that people have with e-readers, but it will likely give some of the novels new life for audiences and make accessing them much easier.