Short Story Vending Machines in Grenoble, France

Jailene Adorno ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

What if there was a vending machine that dispensed short stories instead of snacks? For readers and writers, that could be a dream come true. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening in Grenoble, France.

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The city of Grenoble has come together with the French publishing company Short Edition to put up eight kiosks that give out free stories to whomever would like one. With the push of a button, the people of Grenoble can receive a short story that could be anywhere between one and three minutes long depending on how much time they have to kill. Talk about taking flash fiction to the next level!

The Short Edition machines have three buttons for the different short story lengths. After pressing one of the buttons the stories, interestingly enough, are printed out on recycled paper slips which are about the size of a receipt. This design choice was made so that people can easily carry the stories around in their wallets.

The idea came about when Christophe Sibieude, the founder of Short Edition, saw people going to the vending machines for chocolate. This then led him to wonder what it would be like if people received stories instead of candy when they were bored or waiting around for friends.

Why is this important? Well, for starters, many people are really consumed by technology and often glued to their phones. These Short Edition machines allow people to take a step back from gravitating toward their phones by allowing them to engage in free literature. These machines will have people all over the city using their time wisely by enjoying a quick story.

A project such as this one would be great to bring back to the United States as well as the rest of the world. It’s truly a fresh and wonderful idea that should be shared in more cities. Not only does it promote literacy, but it also does so in a fun and creative way. An idea like this can take short stories to a whole new level by welcoming new people to the art form of the short story and perhaps even encouraging them to read more.


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