How a City in France Got the World’s First Short-Story Vending Machines
Last October, the local publishing startup Short Edition launched the prototypes at city hall, the tourism office, and in libraries and social centers - it's a black and orange, rocket-looking cylinder that spits out short stories, free of charge. Locals queuing to return a book or to meet with a councilor are now invited to print and read one of the six hundred original stories provided by the machines. In the first month, about ten thousand stories were printed. Under a glass panel labelled “Distributeur d’histoires courtes” (“Short-story distributor”), there are three numbered buttons: one, three, and five. The numbers refer to how many minutes a story will take to read.There are currently eight short-story distributors in Grenoble, a city of a hundred and sixty thousand in the French Alps. “The written word isn’t dead,” Christophe Sibieude, the co-founder and head of Short Edition. Now, that's very true!
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