A total of three vending machines were set up in London tasked with dispensing free short stories to the busy commuters. They were installed in London’s Canary Wharf where they issued one, three, and five-minute reads by authors such as Virginia Wolf to Charles Dickens.
These vending machines were created by a French company known as Short Édition. Each vending machine has thousands of stories that have been printed on scrolls of papyrus paper that is eco-friendly. These short stories are available free of cost and also include the crime story, Mr Robinsons, that comes from the best-selling novelist Anthony Horowitz.
A research was commissioned by Canary Wharf that concluded that about 53 million books remain unfinished in the UK every year because of the lack of time that is partly because of the mindless scrolling of social media websites and apps. More than one-third had given up on at least one book during the last year whereas more than one quarter had admitted that it was more than six months since they had last finished a book.
Lucie Moore, head of arts and events for Canary Wharf Group, said, ‘We’re all guilty of saying we’re too busy, but our research found a staggering 70% of us would rather get lost in a good book than down the rabbit hole of social media.’ Anthony Horowitz claims that he really enjoyed writing the shortest story he has ever written. He said, ‘Here’s a whodunnit, complete with suspects and clues, that can be started and finished in just a minute. I hope it will entertain tube travelers who will know, at least, that they won’t have the frustration of having to get off before the end!’
The vending machines issue the stories at random; thus, you never know which one you are going to find during your next commute. The vending machines are already quite popular in 200 locations all over the world. Ever since the very first machine was installed at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport back in 2011, a total of more than three million short stories written by more than eight thousand authors have been dispensed.