Grenoble, located in the French Alps, started a great initiative. It installed short story dispensers. It’s simply brilliant in its simplicity. The dispensers are placed in public areas. They are one meter high, don’t have a screen (sorry, device addicts) and cannot be missed due to their vibrant orange and black colors. They offer a selection of short stories that can be one, three, or five minutes long to read. Best of all - it’s free of charge!
The Grenoble municipality launched this initiative for the benefit of its citizens; it wanted to bring back a bit of culture that is jeopardized by e-books, Kindle and the likes. It wanted people to connect with the printed word again.
The green party mayor of Grenoble, Mr. Eric Piolle, approached the founders of publishing company Short Edition to create content. The result? There are currently 600 short stories available. The is convenient; a short story of three minutes in printed on a piece of paper of 8cm by 60cm. Quite handy!
Christophe Sibieude, co-founder and head of local publishing start-up Short Edition explained: “We said to ourselves that we could providing good quality popular literature via vending machines to occupy those little unproductive moments.”
If you are in Grenoble and want to read, go to any of the eight dispensers located at the town hall, the tourist office, libraries and in social centers and try it out!
(Image: A woman chooses a short story at a short-story distribution terminal in the Mistral district of Grenoble ©Jean-Pierre Clatot / AFP)