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Short edition — It’s a short story vending machine

Posted in General

In the French city of Grenoble, there are unusual vending machines that don’t dispense soda or snacks — they print out short stories that look like paper receipts instead. The stories are printed onto paper and people can choose the length they desire in order to receive an original written piece for free.

The stylish machines distribute short stories to those who would like something to read for a few minutes while they have some free time. Instead of checking their emails, sending a text or playing a mobile game, the publishing company behind this initiative, Short Edition, hopes they might choose to read a story. This analog take on killing time in a digital-first world is a nice way of trying to encourage people to get reading rather than using technology.

1-minute, 3-minute and 5-minute buttons
1-minute, 3-minute and 5-minute buttons

The one-meter tall black-and-orange machine dispenses a small piece of paper similar to a receipt. Its simple yet elegant interface features three numbered buttons that relate to the amount of time a story takes to read: one minute, three minutes or five minutes. Once a person has pressed one of the buttons, it is left up to chance as they receive a random story that might surprise them, move them, make them laugh or get them thinking.

The team at Short Edition came up with the idea while standing in front of a standard vending machine and thought it would be good to provide quality literature to occupy people during unproductive moments.


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