The Catalan Government Railways has teamed up with Random House Mondadori, the Spanish subsidiary of Random House, to let passengers read the first chapter of selected titles.
In the first phase of the program, the railroad has added signs with QR codes to trains running in Baix Llobregat. Passengers can scan the codes and they'll be directed to a RH website where they'll be able to read from one of the 40 titles. The selection includes works by Spanish language authors like Ildefonso Falcones, Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as well as translated works by David Grossman, John Le Carré, Umberto Eco, and others. The railway isn't passing up the chance to promote books printed in Catalan, the language native to that region of Spain. At least some of the titles will available in that language, as well as Spanish.
This program is being launched as part of the National Reading Plan, and it will run for 2 months and be repeated 3 times a year until 2016. There are plans to include other publishers the next time this program is run.
It's a great idea, but I have to wonder why they do not offer public domain titles? That way they could give away the entire book, not just the first chapter.