Short stories on the train

French train stations now have vending machines that dispense short stories to entertain you while you wait

http://metro.co.uk/2016/10/03/french-train-stations-now-have-vending-machines-that-dispense-short-stories-to-entertain-you-while-you-wait-6167708/

By Lisa Bowman for Metro.co.uk

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.

A woman chooses a short story at a short-story distribution terminal in the Mistral district of Grenoble, on October 12, 2015. The city of Grenoble is testing the invention of a local start-up and recently installed the terminal, which delivers free reading material to people waiting in public spaces.  AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PERRE CLATOT        (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images)

A woman chooses a short story at a short-story distribution terminal in the Mistral district of Grenoble, on October 12, 2015. The city of Grenoble is testing the invention of a local start-up and recently installed the terminal, which delivers free reading material to people waiting in public spaces. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PERRE CLATOT (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Which is why France’s idea to install free short story vending machines is genius.
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.

You simply choose your wait-time – one, three or five minutes – and the machine will dispense a story accordingly. All for free.

The stories are all printed on paper, and topics range from children’s stories to lyrical poetry.

The authors of the stories are all anonymous, and over 5,000 have submitted stories.
The machines have been installed at 24 train stations all over France, with plans to introduce them at a further 11 by the end of the year.

The idea was dreamt up by publishing house Short Edition, which specialises in short stories.

‘Our ambition is to see distributors pop up everywhere to encourage reading – and writing – and to promote our artists,’ Short Edition director Christophe Sibieude told Télérama. ‘The paper medium is a breath of fresh air, it’s more unexpected that a smartphone screen.’

Considering that we’re coming into ‘leaves on the line’ season, it might be a good idea to start installing these at commuter hubs in the UK…

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