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Insta Novels: You Can Now Read Classic Novels Animated On Instagram Stories

Next stop, Wonderland

Photos: New York Public Library

It’s a rare sight to see people reading books on the MRT nowadays. But when the train’s crawling at a snail’s pace, a good story can transport us to another world like no social media can. The next time you scroll through your Instagram feeds to pass the time, get those gears in your mind and imagination turning by checking out the New York Public Library’s “Insta Novels.”

Putting the “stories” back in Instagram Stories, New York Public Library has re-imagined classic literature in beautiful and interactive animation on their Instagram account (@nypl). The texts are available in full, and you can read it by tapping right for the next page, or left for the previous one, as per the Instagram Stories format. If you’re thinking, “that doesn’t sound too different from a Kindle or other e-reading apps,” wait till you see the pretty animation and graphic art designed by various illustrators just for the Insta Novels.

Here’s a preview of how the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Insta Novel reads:

We love how each page has a “thumb here” space on the bottom right corner, so you can fit your thumb there to “pause” the Story and not block any of the words while you read.

On some pages, some words are even animated too!


It’s a super cool initiative to get the digital generation interested in reading again.

Many of us know the story of Alice In Wonderland. We’ve seen the Disney movie, maybe even the Tim Burton movies. But if you’ve never read the actual novels by Lewis Carroll, let the vibrant, eye-catching colours of the new Insta Novel take you down the Rabbit Hole.

The first novel chosen to launch the Insta Novel project this past August, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is available to read in two parts on the NYPL Instagram highlights. The art – done by designer @magoz, whose Instagram feed is just a quirky source of joy – and animation make Alice look even more trippy than ever before.

From Wonderland, take a trip to the strange room of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, also available in full now as an Insta Novel. The next one in the works is Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Both stories are great for Halloween reading!

It’s hard to say how many people would actually read the full novels in this Insta Novels format. But if the cool art makes you want to pick up its physical copy or ebook, we’d say the New York Public Library has done its job.

To find out more, check out the NYPL pages on their Insta Novels here and here.