A man launched a Big Apple book club â€” whose members have cleared out nearly all the tomes from his personal library.
Shaheryar Malikâ€™s been randomly leaving stacks all over the city with the hope that strangers will snag copies for themselves.
Since he started the so-called â€œReading Projectâ€ about a year ago, heâ€™s given away some 250 books from his own collection â€” leaving him with just three.
â€œWords in a book sitting on my shelf are meaningless and lifeless to me until they are read again,â€ he told the Huffington Post. â€œStrange thing is that Iâ€™ve given a total stranger a part of me and yet, I still have it.â€
But Malik, 34, said he plans to continue buying his books to continue with the project.
The art director says he got the idea on the Brooklyn Bridge and realized he didnâ€™t want to take the same picture everyone else takes and share it on social media.
â€œI started thinking, â€˜What can I do differently?â€™ Everybody takes a picture of Brooklyn Bridge,â€ he told City Lab. â€œNowadays weâ€™re always sharing things and some of them are so pointless.â€
â€œI wanted to know â€” do people still share physical things? Do people still look at art?â€ he added.
So Malik went back to his apartment and selected a range of books, slipping a bookmark into each of them with his email address on it.
He drove back to the bridge, assembled a towering stack and snapped a photo.
Before leaving the books behind, Malik added a note on the top that said, â€œTake a book. Any book. Email the artist when youâ€™ve finished.â€
â€œI wanted to share something that had a little bit more meaning to it,â€ he said. â€œI owned that book, I read it, and I loved it or I hated it. I really liked the idea of other people picking it up and taking it with them like it was this physical thing to share.â€
Once he hears back from one of the new owners, he asks them where theyâ€™re from and what book they chose.
â€œNot all the books have been read, which means this could keep going,â€ Malik told the Huffington Post. â€œThatâ€™s one of the things that I really love about this project â€” it may never end.â€