How can Emma Watson get your students to read more?

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Emma Watson on the London Underground. Source: BOOKS ON THE UNDERGROUND / FACEBOOK

Emma Watson on the London Underground. Source: BOOKS ON THE UNDERGROUND / FACEBOOK

If you have been reading news or social media sites recently, you may come across pictures and videos of Emma Watson hiding books on the London Underground. Why was she doing that? And how can she inspire your students to read more? Here is more about what Emma has been doing and how you can carry out a similar project.

Books on the Underground

The Books on the Underground project has gained worldwide attention in the past two weeks, when Emma Watson appeared on the London Underground, hiding copies of Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou. However, the project has been successfully running since 2012, first in London, then in New York, and now in several cities all over the world.

The project was set up by Hollie Fraser, who then moved to New York to start Books on the Subway. The London project was taken over by Cordelia Oxley.

Go to this website to read more.

Emma Watson as a Book Fairy

Emma Watson joined the team of Book Fairies, who are part of the Books on the Underground project. They are the ones who physically leave the books on the Underground. The team has a schedule which you can follow on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Travelling Books: A Book Project in your School or Community

Your school might not have an underground system, but you can definitely do something very similar in class. Talk about the Books on the Underground project with your students, and ask them if they can imagine something similar in their own school or community. How would they set it up? How would they manage it? How long would it last? Get inspired by the Books on the Underground project.

1 Use stickers to make the objective clear. Books on the Underground uses stickers to make sure everyone understands they can take the books, but once they have read them, they should leave them for someone else to enjoy.

2 Choose the book carefully. Select the book ahead, and have a reason for choosing them. Emma Watson left copies of Mary Angelou’s book, because her own book club, Our Shared Shelf had been reading that.

3 Have a schedule. Once you have selected the book or books, decide when you are going to leave them. It might be a good idea to do so in the morning. Tweet or post about it on some social media.

4 Keep doing it, and stick to your schedule. You can make one book a month your minimum, but you can never go wrong with overachieving.

5 It is a nice idea to stick a card into the book and let people add information in the following three columns: a) Date I found the book. b) Place where I found the book. c) Place where I leave the book.

Then let your favourite books travel around your school, town or city.


If you want to find out about other special book events and projects, have a look at these three posts:

You can also check out our Book Club Starter Kit:

And visit this website to learn about this beautiful idea, The Reading Project:

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