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Emma Watson/Twitter

Emma Watson hid books throughout NYC for International Women’s Day

It's kind of like 'Pay It Forward.'


Christine Friar


Posted on Mar 9, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 9:19 pm CDT

Lots of celebs posted to social media in honor of International Women’s Day Wednesday, but only one celebrated by running a feminist literature scavenger hunt.

Beauty and the Beast star Emma Watson paired up with a company called the Book Fairies, who use social media to run a book exchange program, to create a game that was fun and educational. The company’s website isn’t totally clear on their business model, but it looks like once you’re done reading a book, the Book Fairies would love for you to stow it someplace safe and public in your city, post about it on social media, and leave it there for the next person to track down and enjoy.

So Wednesday, Watson set out, decked in red, equipped with stacks of books to leave at NYC landmarks like the Harriet Tubman Memorial, the Gertrude Stein statue, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Monument. Book titles included Alice Walker’s The Color Purple and Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road.

She tweeted from each location, cluing followers in on where to spot the stacks of books throughout the city. She made the wise decision to post after she’d already left each location, like a real life Carmen San Diego. That way, there was no way of telling where she’d end up next, and she could avoid being recognized (for the most part).

Fans tracked the books down! In at least one copy, Watson wrote a note inside the cover encouraging the finder to both “enjoy this book”  and “leave it somewhere for the next person to find” after finishing—a tough ask when your free book happens to include a Harry Potter star’s autograph.

Whether people actually end up paying their books forward is yet to be seen, but at the very least some female-authored literature made its way to enthusiastic hands this week. Not shabby at all.

H/T E! News

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*First Published: Mar 9, 2017, 9:53 am CST