Before Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies were (smash hit, award-winning) television series, they were books. And HBO is hoping viewers will use the TV off-season to reacquaint themselves with their shows’ source material.
The network has partnered with the New York Public Library to launch #ReadingIsLIT, a national campaign to encourage people to pick up a book as well as “celebrate the written word,” and “the power of storytelling,” according to a release. HBO and NYPL’s internal teams crafted the campaign.
To launch the campaign, HBO brought in one of the biggest names in its arsenal, Reese Witherspoon (star and producer of the aforementioned Big Little Lies) to appear in a video—which appears to have been filmed on the show’s beach-adjacent Monterey, Calif. set.
Witherspoon is a fitting choice to help kick off the campaign: In recent years, she’s become almost as well-known for her book recommendations as she is for her movie roles. (Her production company, Pacific Standard, produced Big Little Lies.)
Throughout the summer, additional videos will be shared on HBO and the NYPL’s social media platforms, featuring other HBO heavyweights, including Witherspoon’s fellow Big Little Lies stars Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern, Westworld‘s Thandie Newton and Leftovers co-creator Damon Lindelof.
“Being storytellers, everything we do at HBO begins with the written word,” Richard Plepler, HBO’s chairman and CEO, said of the initiative. “We have brought to life many phenomenal books over the years on the network, including current projects Fahrenheit 451, Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects and our biggest series ever Game of Thrones so the timing of this partnership with the New York Public Library couldn’t be better.”
Pam Hacker, HBO’s director of corporate social responsibility, said HBO and the NYPL have a “long-standing partnership” and that the campaign is the “perfect example of two institutions working together for a greater social impact.”
In the library’s 88 branches throughout New York City, #ReadingIsLIT displays will be set up to showcase the books that served as the inspiration behind HBO’s series and movies.
Librarians will also add books to the collection that they think would appeal to the library-going, HBO-watching reader. Readers outside of New York will be able to take part in the campaign at 25 libraries throughout the U.S. The cable juggernaut will donate HBO-approved picks to the chosen libraries.