Vending machines dispense short stories for train passengers

The idea was trialled a year ago in the country’s Grenoble train station, where it went down so well that they decided to roll it out across more stations.

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There’s nothing worse than having to wait for your train when you’ve forgotten your book, all the free papers have gone, or you just don’t feel like falling down the rabbit hole of the Internet via your smartphone.

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Which is why France’s idea to install free short story vending machines is genius. You simply choose your wait-time – one, three or five minutes – and the machine will dispense a story accordingly. All for free.

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The stories are printed on paper, and subjects vary from kids’s stories to lyrical poetry.
The writers of the stories are anonymous, and over 5,000 have submitted narratives.

Publishing house Short Edition, which specialises in short stories dreamt up the idea.

Our dream would be to see providers pop up to market our artists and to support reading – and writing –,’ Short Edition manager Christophe Sibieude told Télérama. ‘The paper medium is a breath of fresh air, it surprising that a smartphone display.’