I’m not going to lie, it makes me a bit disappointed to look around public spaces and see everyone looking down at the bright screen in their hand. I mean, I get it. What else are you going to do when you’re waiting for the train or you want to avoid all social contact? But I still feel as though there’s something else to do that will allow our minds to run free for a bit, something that will leave us thinking rather than mindlessly scrolling.
Welp, folks, a French publishing company has seemed to solve it all. The Verge has revealed that Short Edition has created the Short Story Dispenser for people in public places that always have a long wait. That is totally rad on another level.
Image Via Café Zoetrope
So here’s how one of these glorious little dispensers works. You have to click one of three buttons: 1, 3, or 5. These choices are based on the number of minutes you expect to be reading. A short story will then print out for you. And yes, it’s free. These literary works come from Short Edition’s website with an array of over 13 million works by 6,800 writers selected by the Short Edition readers and creators. Or you could receive the classics like Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and many more. Either way, the chosen authors get their royalties.
5 minutes versus 3 minutes. / Image Via The Verge
As for the sheet itself, it uses eco-friendly papyrus paper and no ink. It could end up resembling a super long grocery list if you get the five-minute short story, but it’s well worth it if you ask me. The lit-savvy machine has made its big debut in France’s Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, as well as several other locations in the country. There’s 150 of them altogether in airports and train stations and I sure do hope there’s more on the way. With twenty of them sprouting up in the U.S., the legendary Francis Ford Coppola has become a fan and investor of these literary gadgets.
Who knows? Next time you stop to take a look around you at the train station, people might be immersed in their own literary world rather than a mobile one. Sounds blissful to me.