There’s something comforting about looking across a crowded subway car and seeing—no, not a familiar face—a familiar book cover. You might comment on your fellow commuter’s literary choice or you might not (because, let’s face it, subway privacy is sacred)…but imagine if everyone on the R train were engrossed in the same story?
That’s the goal with the city’s new One Book, One New York program, an initiative to get New Yorkers all reading the same book starting in March. And right now, you can vote for the first pick.
Fittingly, the five nominees for the first round all have ties to the city: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, The Sellout by Paul Beatty and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
You have until February 28 to cast your vote, online or at subway kiosks, and if you need help deciding, head over to the poll site see a few notable book lovers—like Larry Wilmore and Orange Is the New Black’s Danielle Brooks—pitch their favorites.
And even if you’ve already read a few of these (or all of them…show-off), think of all the conversations you might strike up with other bookworms. Or you could just smile and put your headphones back in—but hey, at least you’ll have the option.