NY Library Puts Prejudices Aside

Visitors of the New York Public Library’s Webster branch have been asked to cast aside their biases. The library has arranged a shelf to be displayed featuring books that have been covered in brown paper, with a sign above the shelf asking the question, ‘Do you judge a book by its cover?’ As well as being covered, each book has a cryptic clue as to its contents.

One of the first such books to be borrowed had the label, ‘3,856 stories. One book.’ It was Meanwhile by Jason Shiga. This is how the blog describes it: “It’s an old school ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ story, in graphic novel format, with about five thousand more twists and turns. It begins simply enough, with little Jimmy choosing an ice cream flavor—chocolate or vanilla. But once you choose, you don’t just skip to the next designated page; you follow a color coded line, up, down, across, and off the page onto a tab, which shows you which section of the book is next. Circuitous plots of hidden codes, mind reading, time travel and possible world destruction aside, following the darn line alone is more mental exercise than I’ve had in a long time.”

As the NYPL blog explains, the point is to get readers to read books they wouldn’t normally read.

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