Observations: First Capital Connect launches book club

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The Independent Culture

Isn't it frustrating when you've just started the first few chapters of a new book, one that has you gripped after only several pages, and then all of a sudden you have to put it down? Maybe it's because you were on a First Capital Connect train earlier this week, and you finished reading one of the 32-page free book samples that were handed out to commuters.

This month, First Capital Connect launched a book club and gave away 17,000 samples of its first Book of the Month, Evidence by the US suspense author Jonathan Kellerman, over three days at Kings Cross, St Albans, Luton and Bedford. The train company is partnering with mostra, a marketing agency for publishers, in the hope that reading a small taster of a book will encourage people to buy the whole thing. The club is also being run online, so that those who aren't travelling from major stations can still download the chapters and receive discounts on books.

David Adshead, the managing director of mostra, says: "People are now reading their sample chapters as well as a newspaper on the way home." The next book of the month is This Is How by M J Hyland, which will be handed out between 1-5 April.