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Books on the Rail ninjas return with new novel

July 08, 2019

It all started when they left their favourite book at South Yarra Station for a stranger to discover. Three years on, Books on the Rail duo Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus have written two novels, amassed thousands of followers and could soon have a movie deal.

'The Book Ninja' five stars

May 19, 2019

This was a delightful read that I became completely consumed by and finished in one sitting! Frankie and her best friend Cat are an endearing pair that sweep you up in their quest to return Frankie to her first love in life, writing. The literary references seamlessly slipped into the narrative brought me back to another extremely clever read, Jasper Fforde’s ‘Thursday Next’ series! ‘The Book Ninja’ rewards the well-read reader with quick associations and a particularly funny (yet perfectly apt for this plot!) debate about the merits of literary versus Young Adult fiction.

S&S has sold Portuguese rights to 'The Book Ninja'

May 15, 2018

Simon & Schuster has sold Portuguese rights to The Book Ninja (Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus) to Topseller.

'The Book Ninja' sells in Europe

April 12, 2018

Simon & Schuster has sold German rights to The Book Ninja in a six-way auction to Blanvalet. The book has attracted further attention in Europe, with Italian rights sold to Garzanti Linguistica, Slovak and Czech rights to Fortuna Libri, and Spanish rights to Ediciones Urano.

S&S acquires debut novel by Aussie 'Book Ninjas'

August 20, 2017

Their novel The Book Ninja is a ‘clever, funny and wryly observed story about finding love and discovering yourself in the process,’ said managing editor Roberta Ivers. ‘And of course it’s all about the love of books, something they know better than anyone.’

Listen: Matt and Meshel

June 07, 2017

Listen to Matt and Meshel interviewing Ali from Books on the Rail! 

Graeme Simsion Bookc Club on a Tram

December 30, 2019

Missed stops and packed trams don't stop us! Check out a recap of our fun night with Graeme Simsion on a tram, Blog Post 8.19.

Listen: ABC Books and Arts

February 01, 2017

Listen to us talk to ABC Books and Arts with Sunni Overend about being a Book Ninja, how book clubs on trains work and eating cheese and wine on the train. 

The Guardian: The guerrilla library infiltrating Melbourne's Metro

December 07, 2019

Last Saturday, Books on the Rail held its first book club – in a train carriage, naturally. The book club, which met on the Frankston line, grew out of the organisation’s books subscriptions program – a “blind date with a book” – which they began as a response to reader feedback.

Herald Sun: Book lovers urged to get on board with Melbourne’s first rail book club

December 03, 2016

"SIGN up to a blind date with a difference and get on board Melbourne’s first rail book club."

Weekend Notes: Books on the Rail

November 20, 2016

"Have you ever found a book left on public transport? What if that book was left there just for you? This is the idea behind 'Books on the Rail'." 

The Culture Trip: Books on the Rail brings literature to Australia's commuters

September 14, 2016

With the help of our incredible Book Ninjas, we’ve recently launched Books on the Rail Australia-wide! We hope to continue to expand our geographical reach and the number of books hitting public transport services. We want to create a movement where the community drives the initiative, rather than just us. We’re already starting to see this happen on social media, which is very exciting! Hopefully in the future, every time you travel on public transport you’ll spot a Books on the Rail book!

Triple J: People who are better than you... at getting people to read!

September 06, 2016

Co-founder of 'Books on the Rail' Ali Berg tells triple j's Linda Marigliano about the growing movement, to put books on public transport!

9 News: Books on the Rail expands nationwide

September 03, 2016

We’ve been absolutely blown away by the positive feedback and successive media attention. Publications from all over the world, from India to America, have shared our story.

The Leader: Malvern duo's Books on the Rail is going national

September 01, 2016

Metro spokesman Marcus Williams said the movement had its approval. “While we can’t take any credit and have no formal involvement, this is an example of a positive community initiative and one we admire,” he said.

Lonely Planet: Book Ninjas leaving literature for commuters

August 31, 2016

Melbourne, a Unesco City of Literature, continues to live up to its name with a developing subversive movement called ‘Books on the Rail’. The city’s public transport network is being infiltrated by ‘book ninjas’ who leave books for commuters to read and share.

Huffington Post: These women started a free book share on their city’s public transportation

September 01, 2016

"All aboard this awesome idea! Scores of free books have been appearing on buses, trams and trains in Melbourne, Australia, for passengers to read and share with each other. It’s all part of Books On The Rail, a program started by copywriter Ali Berg and teacher Michelle Kalus to get strangers to pass around anything from children’s titles to classics."

Upworthy: These 'book ninjas' give commuters free books to read while they ride.

August 30, 2016

"Reading is an empowering way to spread joy and wonder. Combine that with the reach and traffic of public transit, and you’ve got a mobile library that can bring the printed word to thousands of people." 

Concrete Playground: Melbourne's newest library

August 29, 2016

"There's a new kind of passenger cruising around Melbourne's public transport network — and you might just find yourself taking one of them home with you."

TimeOut: Hundreds of books have been set free onto Melbourne’s transport network

August 29, 2016

"It’s a unique feeling, that moment when you finish a book you’ve loved. A bittersweet goodbye to characters who feel like friends; curiosity to know what happens next; an urge to tell everyone you know – or even a complete stranger – that they just have to read it."

SBS News: Find a book on public transport? It's yours to keep

August 29, 2016

"If you spot a book next to you on the train this afternoon, it may not be because of a forgetful fellow commuter.

Australian organisation Books On The Rail have started a campaign asking people to leave novels on trains, buses and trams to get people to share their love of reading all over Melbourne."

Smh News: 'Book ninjas' are hiding free books on Melbourne's trains

August 29, 2016

"Bored of your Spotify playlist, your Facebook scroll, that whole Candy Crush thing my mum's still obsessed with? Keep your eyes peeled for a lonely book, hogging a seat on your afternoon tram, waiting for a curious reader to flip it open and take it home."

Abc news: Books On The Rail sets books free on trams & trains

August 28, 2016

"The free range books have been set loose on the city's public transport by "book ninjas" as part of a new movement called Books On The Rail." 

Broadsheet: Travelling Books on Melbourne’s public transport

August 28, 2016

"A new community initiative called Books on the Rail is placing free books on your bus, tram and train. You may have heard of book-exchange programs such as London’s Books on the Underground, which inspired copywriter Ali Berg and primary-school teacher Michelle Kalus to create Melbourne’s own Books on the Rail."

Mashable: Books are appearing all over public transport

August 29, 2016

"Readers rejoice! There are books popping up all over public transport system, and not because someone keeps forgetting them. The Australian organisation Books On The Rail have established a campaign asking people to leave books on trains, trams and buses in an effort to get people sharing their most loved books."

3AW: Melbourne commuters encouraged to pick up a book

August 25, 2016

Michelle Kalus, co-founder of Books on the Rail, speaks to 3AW Breakfast about the Books on the Rail concept. 

The Leader: Commuters share their love of reading

August 25, 2016

"If you've recently found a book on public transport, chances are it was left there just for you.

The Books on the Rail movement encourages people to leave novels on Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses for commuters to discover, read then pass on."

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