Innovation That Matters

Short story vending machines encourage reading

Work & Lifestyle

French publishing company Short Edition prints out receipt-like short stories to encourage commuters to kill time by reading.

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We recently saw commuters in Romania given free tickets for reading instead of using their smartphones. Residents of the French town of Grenoble are also being encouraged to make time for reading in their daily schedules.


Short Edition, a French publishing company, has installed several vending machines around Grenoble stocked with short stories penned by authors from the company. Users choose how much time they want to kill: 1, 3 or 5 minutes, and receive a short story printed on a long, receipt-like piece of paper. The literary company believes that reading the short stories will be more inspiring for residents than playing smartphone games, and better for health than the usual sweet snacks found in vending machines.

Commutes and public spaces are increasingly being used to encourage the public to look up from their smartphones. What other analogue schemes could encourage people to not be so dependent on their digital devices?



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