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These French Vending Machines Sell Short Stories

Super-short fiction that’s as good as any snack

(Short Édition)
smithsonian.com

On the road? You may be tempted to turn to a vending machine for some quick food. But soon, reports Diana Budds for FastCompany, travelers in Grenoble, France can snack on food for thought instead. The city plans to install vending machines that dispense short stories in its public plazas.

The idea is the brainchild of a French publisher named Short Édition. Budds writes that the invention came about when employees found themselves crowding around a vending machine. That snackable inspiration led to a machine that will vend stories that take one, three or five minutes to read.

The city of Grenoble plans to install ten machines across the city as a fresh alternative to smartphones. According to a press release, the machines will allow people to experience cultural moments during boring times when they'd usually reach for their phones.

There's no news about the vending machines becoming available outside of Grenoble, but that doesn't mean fiction can't be found in unexpected places in the United States. You only have to look as far as your Chipotle bag or cup to read two-minute stories from celebrated American authors. Maybe one day, American vending machines will serve up literature that's just as satisfying as any snack.

(h/t The Independent)

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