Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

French city introduces short story dispensers to lure people away from their phones

Short-edition-story-dispensing-machine.jpg

What’s your first move when waiting standing on a train platform or waiting to meet a friend?

You’re probably on Facebook doing some digital stalking, ogling someone’s new shoes on Instagram or taking a cheeky selfie; either way, chances are you’re checking your phone.

In an innovative and creative move, a French city is attempting to fight against our screen addiction by placing ‘short story dispensers’ around the town.

Grenoble, capital of the French Alps, is hoping to help civilians pass the time by providing them with short stories to read.

The experimental move will see story ‘dispensers’ dispersed around the town, which will produce good quality literature to people waiting around, in the hope that they will read them, learn something from them, enjoy a moment with their imagination and most crucially, move away from their screens during quiet moments.

Just like a vending machine which, here in the UK, more commonly supply gummy sweets or soft drinks, the dispensers will allow users to select their preferences.

People will be able to decide what length of literature they have time to read, be it a three minute story, which is provided on a 8 x 60 cm piece of paper, or a five minute story, which comes up twice the size.

The scheme is the result of a collaboration between the founders of publishing company, Short Edition, and the mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle.

“The idea came to us in front of a vending machine containing chocolate bars and drinks,” Christophe Sibieude, head of Short Edition, tells Agence-France Presse.

“We said to ourselves that we could do the same thing with good quality popular literature to occupy these little unproductive moments.”

The plan will see eight machines peppered around the city in busy social areas, from the tourist office to the town hall.

Most importantly, though, the machines will be free to use – because you can’t put a price on education. 

Related

rexfeatures_1559792a.jpg

The two words that are key to a happy relationship

rexfeatures_5234503c.jpg

Marlon James on how he wrote his Man Booker winning novel

books.jpg

The best books to read on the plane, based on your holiday destination

lucky.jpg

2015’s word-of-mouth breakout book

books-iuse.jpg

The most well-read areas of Britain revealed. Where do you rank?

Baileys Prize.jpg

Dating for book lovers: women drawn to thriller readers

rexfeatures_955369a.jpg

The seven golden rules of setting up a book club

ThinkstockPhotos-532224191.jpg

The best new books of October

GettyImages-492819522.jpg

Emma Cline and Salman Rushdie on the realities of writing a book

Comments

More

Messy people everywhere, scientists have very good news for you

Show this article to the next person who dares to complain about your messy desk

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Science says this is how to get over a break up

Because how many Celine Dion power ballads can we really perfect?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Cheese addicts, science says that brie could help you live longer

We can’t brie-lieve it…

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Netflix's GLOW celebrates the might of women in all forms

The new show might be the best thing to hit Netflix this year

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Calling all Harry Potter superfans: we've found your dream job

Fancy running the new Harry Potter exhibition?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

The innovative beer advert trying to bring people together

It has already clocked up millions of views on YouTube

by Amy Swales
28 Apr 2017

Viral photo series captures what it truly means to be black and Muslim

The photo series captures “the most resilient people in the world"

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

First Dates’ Raymond taught us an important lesson about loneliness

‘Just to hear somebody else breathing… that’s all I want’

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

These cheesy, cheesy recipes will give you life

Get a load of this fromagerie

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Apr 2017

This Commuter Barbie video is the most relatable thing we’ve ever seen

“Commuter Barbie has a seat at the table – and on the train!”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Apr 2017