A novel approach: short story vending machines rolled out in French train stations
If you have ever left your book at home when running to catch the train, the new short-story vending machines rolling out in French train stations may appeal to you.
The machines offer commuters a random selection of one, two or three minute stories or poems to read on the journey to work.
The vending machines are being installed across 24 train stations in France this month and 11 more will be added by the end of the year.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council is contemplating improvements for Wellington's train and bus stations and councillor Sue Kedgley said she would be open to trialling the machines in Wellington depending on the cost.
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More than 40,000 stories are available from the vending machines, which includes all genres from crime, fantasy and young fiction.
Short Edition started as a community editor of short literature.
All stories are sourced from Short Edition's online platform where people can read, review and write stories.
After the success last year of a trial of the machines in public buildings in Grenoble, in south-eastern France, the first machines have been rolled out in train stations.
There are more than 30 dispensers across the world in airports, train stations, hospitals, malls, clothing stores, rest stops, and government departments.
The creators say the machines will help bring literature into the 21st century.
"If today people read less, it is because literature didn't adapt," Short Edition spokeswoman Caroline de Cuverville said.
"When you look at today's world, everything is going faster because people don't have time. That's why our aim is to adapt literature to modern world."
Kedgley, who was the regional council's sustainable transport committee deputy chairwoman, said the council would need to look into the financial implications of installing the short-story vending machines in Wellington before a pilot could be run.
"They certainly sound like fun and I would be open to having some trialled here," Kedgley said.
Greater Wellington Regional Council is considering a number of improvements for the capital's main transport hub.
Possible additions, include a roaming concierge who could help passengers find the right bus or train, as well as access to wi-fi, indoor seating and a short-term luggage storage area.
The plans are still in the concept stage, but were borne out of feedback from a large number of commuters.
Many felt their expectations of what the Wellington Railway Station should be were not being met because of its appearance.
If the Wellington station changes prove popular, similar services could be rolled out at other interchanges in the region.
* What do you think of the vending machine idea? Should it come to Wellington? Email us your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Wellingtonian