Rome digital library lets commuters read e-books at bus stops

The wait for Rome's buses and trains just got more interesting.

Italy's first mobile digital library uniting public transport with literature has been launched in Rome in what is being hailed as the largest project of its kind in Europe.

The +Viaggi +Leggi initiative, which translates as +Travel +Read, will allow commuters to choose from hundreds of titles including e-books, audio books and music tracks for free.

Access is available at bus and tram stops and subway platforms across the capital, letting commuters read or listen to music as they while away the time waiting for their bus or train to arrive, before continuing to read on their journey.

There are more than 18,000 QR codes to match the same number of library access points on the transport network.

"I am very proud of this initiative" - said Rome mayor Virginia Raggi - "The goal is to broaden the audience of readers and make culture increasingly accessible and available to all."

The books will be available for six months, before being replaced by new ones, and there is no quantity limit on smartphones or tablets.

The titles available in the digital library will be listed in bus shelters, on board some metro trains and at bus terminals at the central Termini train station.

There is a wide range of categories to suit all tastes and age groups: children's books, Italian literature and international classics, poetry and art, travel and music.

There are sections dedicated to Dante, Trilussa and the Roman poets, as well as the "Libri in Lingua" with books in English, French, Spanish, Bengali and Romanian aimed at the city's foreign communities.

For more details see city website.