I’m not a big fan of corporations giving us reading material; it just seems a little condescending, like we can’t decide what to read ourselves. But – at the risk of sounding changeable – I loved the idea of the short-story vending machines undertaking trials in Grenoble. Run by the French organisation Short Edition, travellers can choose a 1, 3 or 5 minute story as they move about the city (17% of residents have used them). I love this kind of city project, because it allows anyone to submit a story, rather than providing a platform for established authors. It just seems very democratic, although I wonder if that will remain true if the founders wish is realised when he says, “imagine a distributor in every Starbucks”. Quite.
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