Welcome to the French city of Grenoble that recently launched a fun-filled initiative aimed at spreading some literature to its people. The initiative involved installation of vending machines that dispensed short stories rather than snacks and soda. The vending machine features three buttons; 1-minute, 3-minute and 5-minute buttons. These buttons correspond to the free time that the user has available and dispenses a short story based on the user’s decision.
The machines were installed in public spaces such as the tourist office, town hall, social centers and libraries. The idea was to provide encouragement to people in order to reincarnate the reading habit as a time pass instead of playing with your smartphone all day long. The Mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle, is promoting this campaign in collaboration with Short Édition – a local publishing start-up. Short Édition has created this amazing gadget. The government believes that this initiative has dual benefits for its citizen; firstly, it promotes reading while spreading culture and secondly, because this encourages folks to not use their smartphones and come up with other ways of passing time.
Christophe Sibieude, co-founder and head of Short Édition said, “The idea came to us in front of a vending machine containing chocolate bars and drinks. We said to ourselves that we could do the same thing with good quality popular literature to occupy these little unproductive moments.”
The service is free and a total of eight machines have been installed throughout the city – the project is non-profitable since the aim is to facilitate citizens’ access to reading material.