Artist #ShaheryarMalik is leaving books in famous locations across the world in a bid to share something important – the power of reading. Earlier this year, artist Shaheryar Malik was about to post a selfie from the Brooklyn Bridge when he had second thoughts. He wanted to share something different with the world.
Malik thought social media had become impersonal and he wanted to connect with people in a more meaningful way. The Reading Project was born. He began leaving stacks of his books in famous New York City locations with a card containing simple instructions tucked inside each one: take a book, read it and share your thoughts with the artist by email.
The stacks of books themselves can be seen as works of art, but so is the process of sharing. Unlike many of the things we share today, he likes to keep the project off social media. To keep the project “pure”, he doesn’t even turn around as he walks away once he has assembled a pile of books. When he’s left them behind, he prefers email to be the only way that he learns what happens to them. The project has now taken him – and his books – around the world, including London where we recently caught up with him.