Classic Stories are Hitting your Instagram Stories Now


Courtesy of

Covers of NYPL Insta-novels

Lily Ives, Rookie Reporter

Did you know Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Lewis Carroll now have an Instagram?

The New York Public Library has implemented a new feature to their Instagram: Insta-novels. Insta-novels are classical stories, some being short stories, others being parts of novels, told on their Instagram stories. The first story they published was the beginning of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland, which was posted in Aug. 2018. The stories are saved on the highlights of the library’s page.

The stories are accompanied by new and fresh graphics. Each story has a different artist and the first story posted, Alice in Wonderland, was accompanied by the designer Magoz.

The works are released periodically and as of Oct. 2018, the library has posted Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, as well as The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, in the future.

The NYPL wants this program to help spread classic literature to more people using social media and is similar to their app SimplyE, which is a digital version of a library. They also hope that this social media tactic will attract new readers to their app.

Everything about the format of the stories are thought out. For example, the format is meant to mimic the feeling of reading an actual novel, such as holding the corner of your screen to read a page, similar to how you hold a book. The color of each ‘page’ is an off-white, making it easier on the eyes. Even the typeface, Georgia, was used to pay homage to the history of published works.

A big aspect of this application is the appeal to a greater demographic, including teens, and when interviewing high-school students, one can see that the interest in reading classics for fun is somewhat divided, but leans to more finding them irrelevant. Looking at statistics from our school library, around 70% of the novels checked out by students are books that aren’t classics, which reveals that students are reading more modern novels than classics.

“No, because I find them boring,” said sophomore Bella Sponable when asked on whether or not she reads classical books.

On the other side of the coin, sophomore Jenna Martinez has read classics such as Romeo and Juliet on her own because she likes them. She thinks it’s important to read literature from all times because it can give us a better understanding of the history of literature.

Debbie Livingston, our school librarian, said that classics are important to read because they hold wonderful literary merit, but that, on the other hand, young adult literature can also hold merit. With YA, teens can find problems and issues that they relate to, whilst classics hold more universal themes and are written for adults. Also, some YA novels, such as the S.E. Hinton novel The Outsiders, are becoming classics.

Ultimately, she thinks that a mix of YA and classics would be the best option, so this feature might be the way to implement the classics without having them be required reading. The elimination of the phrase ‘required reading, may make the novels more appealing to a younger demographic. It can be the way that a different form of literary merit is introduced to teens.

The insta-novel feature on the New York Public Library’s instagram is a fun and innovative way of spreading literature to more people. This can turn more people into frequent readers, making the future of literature better for authors and readers alike.