One of the worst feelings for bookworms is realizing you forgot to grab something to read on your way out the door. Luckily, readers on-the-go no longer have to worry about forgetting their read, or carrying heavy books in their bag all day. Innovative literary dispensaries now offer readers short stories at the push of a button. Literally.
Designed by Short Editions publishing company, these screen-less story distributors can spit out free randomized stories, news, and poems, the later of which are written by Short Edition community writers and evaluated by Short Edition judges. Readers also have the convenience of choosing between one, three, or five minute reads, which in an age of short attention span is quite genius.
Image Via Kqed
The first dispensary was introduced in France in 2015 and has since expanded significantly. As of today there are over 100 dispensaries in France, about thirty in the United States, and additional dispensaries in other countries. A map showing their locations can be found here.
According to their website, these $9,200 dispensaries were created to expand literacy, promote reading and writing, and encourage creativity. They also help to promote relatively unknown authors, offering both exposure for writers and fresh reads for audiences.
“The idea is to make people happy,” Export Director Kristan Leroy toldNY Times. “There is too much doom and gloom today.”
The Norwegian National Library, which was only established in 1989, has made about 250,000 available for free online. All of the titles were released before the year 2000, and only about 4,000 titles have been reserved by publishers and authors.
The digitization process began back in October 2012 with the launch of Bokhylla (“Bookshelf”). Back then a measly 100,000 books were available for free online. In 2013, the library announced the site had been visited 51 million times in 2012 alone. Considering it was only launched in October and the population of Norway is just over 5 million, that’s pretty incredible.
250,000 titles are available today. This was all accomplished through a partnership between the National Library and Kopinor, which is an organization for writers. Per the agreement, authors currently holding copyrights for their books will get paid to have their works digitized and made available for free. Considering book sales for books published before 2000 are generally not super high, it’s a decent deal for writers and readers alike.
Where are all the books? Oh. Online. | Image Via Wikimedia
Many books are only available to those accessing the digital library in Norway, but those outside the country can apply for access by following this link.
To be honest, though, this is just another reason to move over to Norway. First and foremost, all the best Viking stories come from there. Second of all, they have this now. Anybody want to join?
Sometimes there just isn’t enough money in the piggy bank to scratch the itch of getting a fresh new book, unbroken spine, no dog ears, free of pizza grease, and coffee stains.
The library helps momentarily, lending a new story without the dent in your pocket. But leaving the house to return books can dampen the experience, having not finished the stack of books you assured yourself you only needed the two-week allotment for.
In these times of need, there are other ways to get books than by using a plastic card. That’s when our best friend, the internet, steps in and picks up the weary bookless reader.
This website means no more excuses for not having read the classics. That means you, Lena Dunham, who has never read The Great Gatsby. With categories like “Top 5 Authors” and “Top 5 Books”, ReadPrint makes it easier to pick stories when there are just so many great pieces of literature.
This one is great for the reader that needs to multitask all through the day. With tons of audiobooks available for free, you can speed through books easily while still maintaining work around your office or in school.
So we are still kind of dependent on libraries. However, this method doesn’t require you to leave the house and charges no late fees. You can check out a book at all hours of the night, so you can maintain your mostly-nocturnal lifestyle.
You’re already posting and sharing your status on books you’re reading. You can cut out the middleman and make the site work for you. Goodreads offers some ebooks for free to read. This can be especially helpful in English classes where you might need a copy of Romeo and Juliet. This social networking site is awesome because you can also add friends, see and comment on what they are reading, want to read, or have already read.
We get it. Even if a book is free, it doesn’t mean it will be read. That being said, audiobooks make the slow paced and girthy books easier to digest while still letting you finish a story. LibriVox offers this service for books like War and Peace, a notoriously difficult book to finish story. You can also join their community of voluntary book readers and have your voice attached to your favorite stories.
The drive for this site is to connect the reader as closely as it can with the document they are looking for. Thousands of documents and links are available from their archives. You can even get recipes on this site if you are craving more than stories.
Believe it or not, you can now search through audiobooks on Spotify. You can switch between jamming with your pals to finishing your assignment on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. And if you don’t want all the annoying ads, they offer a student discount on premium!