Arts and Culture

This 'vending machine' dispenses free short stories

Short Edition's stories are curated to suit the audience in each specific location. Image: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Maryam Munir
Content Producer, Formative Content
Share:
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Arts and Culture is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Arts and Culture

Once upon a time there was a start-up with a dream of bringing the pleasures of reading to more people.

Happily, this dream came true.

At the push of a button the Short Story Dispenser prints out fiction that can be read in one, three or five minutes, for free.

The machines have been installed in transit hubs, government offices, universities and cafes. Image: Short Edition

The black and orange machines, the brainchild of French publisher Short Edition, dispense stories on long strips of paper. There are no screens and stories are printed from a digital catalogue of original works by Short Edition’s community of more than 5000 authors.

Short Edition says the aim is to encourage reading and writing, and to share the work of its authors with a wider audience.

The company, based in Grenoble, France, installed its first Short Story Dispenser in 2016. Since then more than 150 have appeared in government offices, airports, train stations, shopping centres, universities and cafes, including one in film director Francis Ford Coppola’s Cafe Zoetrope in San Francisco.

The stories, which span a variety of genres including children’s literature, are curated to suit the audiences in each location.

Columbus City Schools in Ohio bought five dispensers as part of a strategy to promote reading among young people, and public libraries in a handful of US cities have announced they will be installing them too.

Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Arts and CultureEducationSocial Innovation
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

AI vs Art: Will AI help or hinder human expression?

Robin Pomeroy and Sophia Akram

April 8, 2024

1:44

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum