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Genius: These Buses Have Bookshelves With Free Books

Are you listening, US public transit systems?

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That's why VHH, a bus company in Hamburg, Germany, decided to install shelves in some of their buses so that passengers can easily borrow books during their ride.

Markus Backfisch

All passengers have to do is pick a book they like, and start reading. If they don't finish their book during their bus ride, they can take it home and either bring it back to the bus or mail it to the store that provides the books.

VHH started "Buchhaltestellen," which means "book stop" in 2010 as a collaboration with second-hand department store Stilbruch. Over the past seven years, Stilbruch has provided almost one million books for the 150 buses that feature the shelves.

Carsten Boock / Via

Markus Backfisch, who's ridden on the buses and donated books of his own to it, told BuzzFeed that Buchhaltestellen is a pun — "buch" means book and

"bushaltestelle" means bus stop.


Stilbruch gets the books from donations, and store employees sort through them to pick the best ones for Buchhaltestellen. Those books get special stickers and are delivered to the special buses once a week.