These Vending Machines Offer Short Stories Instead of Sweets

Hit the button and take a 'journey before the journey'

Special Collections: READING FOR THE SOUL


(graphbottles /

A new initiative started by French publisher Short Edition gives subway commuters a bit of brain food on their daily commute with a series of vending machines that dispense literary snacks instead of your ubiquitous sweets on-the-go. The mini reads are thoughtfully selected for the vending machines by Short Edition's online community, which boasts over 142,000 readers and more than 60,000 stories to choose from. The short story dispensers were originally placed in public spaces around the French city of Grenoble as a test run and the feedback was so successful that an additional 35 stations are set to be placed across France by the end of 2016.

The vending machines are quite simple: a choice of one minute, three minutes or five minutes of fiction are offered and, once a choice is made, a random story rolls out like a receipt - only these stories are offered completely free of charge. The fiction provides a welcome respite to passengers during the 'in between' time of commuting, and since the genre is left a surprise, it also opens curious commuters up to new kinds of literature, including narratives, lyrical poetry, fairy tales and classical lit. Not only does the initiative promote reading and writing for all age groups, it also offers a daily dose of unexpected culture to the masses.

5 Reading Apps That are Revolutionizing the Way We Read
6 Sites to Help You Find Your Next Best Read
11 of the Most Beautiful Libraries Around the World

Special Collection