Books

These genius vending machines will print short stories for you

Posted by
Sarah Shaffi
Published

Modern life doesn’t always afford us the time to get lost in a book, so we’re always on the lookout for things that can help…

Reading can be an escape, whether you’re delving into some non-fiction and learning about something you don’t know, or escaping the real world with some fiction.

But if there’s one thing we’re guaranteed of, it’s that there are too many books and too little time. It’s difficult to truly lose yourself in a book when you only have a few minutes here or there to read.

So what’s a book lover to do?

Short stories and audiobooks are part of the solution, and now you can also add vending machines to the mix.

The Short Story Stations dispense stories that can be read in one, three or five minutes.

Yes, you read that right, vending machines, but not the kind that dispense fizzy drinks and unhealthy snacks.

Three new vending machines have been installed in Canary Wharf in London, and they each can dispense short stories that can be read in one, three or five minues.

The stories will be printed onto eco-friendly papyrus paper, and are free to the public from 4 April. There are thousands of tales to choose from, including classical literature, crime and feel good fiction.

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Among the stories available is an exclusive short written by Anthony Horowitz. Mr Robinson takes the form of a “whodunit” crime, and can be read in one minute.

It’s the first time the Short Story Stations, created by French company Short Édition, have been used in the UK.

The three machines have been installed by the Canary Wharf Group, which commissioned research that reveals more than 53 million books are left unfinished in the UK every year because we get too busy to complete them.

The research also found that 36% of Brits have given up on at least one book in the last year due to lack of time, while 30% said it’s been more than six months since they last finished a book.

If you’ve finished a book recently or not, taking a few minutes out of your day to read a short story is a treat and an escape we all deserve. 

Images: Canary Wharf

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Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. She reads more books a week than is healthy, and balances this out with copious amounts of TV. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society.

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