In Grenoble Its Back to the Future With Short Reads Printed Out on Tickets
In the Alpine city of Grenoble they’re bucking the digital trend offering locals sipping café on the terrasses, short stories popped out on paper by free quick-read vending machines.
The inventors hope readers will stop scrolling down the screen of hand-held devices and switch to tales that, as they emerge from a distributor, resemble a long thin till receipt from a hypermarket checkout.
Co-founder Christophe Sibieude told Agence-France Presse his firm Short Édition had placed eight of its vending machines in public locations in Grenoble including the City Hall, the tourist office, social centres and local libraries, as part of a pilot project. Each dispenser offers a reader the choice of a 1-minute, 3-minute or 5-minute read. Just hit the appropriate button and out zips the story of your choice on a sheet that might easily be mistaken for old fashioned ticker tape.
The short stories are written by members of the Short Édition online web community and the initiative is a collaborative effort between the publishing company and the green party mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle.
Earlier the Mayor achieved some notoriety for being the first to ban outdoor advertising hoarding s from his streets to the chagrin of France’s street furniture giant JCDecaux.
Christophe Sibieude said the idea occurred to him while he was standing in front of a fizzy drink and chocolate bar dispensing machine: “I discussed it with my team and we said to ourselves why not do the same thing with good quality popular literature… it would help occupy these little unproductive moments and perhaps broaden our reading public”
The stories are dispensed free of charge and welcoming the development one local newspaper expressed the hope it might help distract people from the now universal and perpetual checking of mobile phone screens.
Story: Ken Pottinger