People are so used to losing themselves in their smartphones while waiting for a bus, they may have forgotten the simple pleasure of reading a story to pass the time. One town in France wants to put that to rights. Grenoble has introduced a machine in public spaces that dispenses short stories. Short Edition‘s co-founder Christophe Sibieude says that the idea of bringing a little culture into people’s day was inspired by the prevalence of soda and candy vending machines. “We said to ourselves that we could do the same thing with good quality popular literature to occupy these little unproductive moments.”
There are eight machines across the town: at the town hall, the tourist office, libraries and in social centers. “Stories can be consumed in however much time you’ve got to kill,” reports konbini.com. “The ‘three minute’ format, for example, takes the form of a piece of paper that’s 8 by 60 centimeters in size: for the five minute version, we reckon this is doubled.” The stories are free.