These Short Story Vending Machines Are The Most Gloriously French Thing Ever

​Très bien

Trust the land of Proust, Verne and de Beauvoir to land a blow for literature in the age of the smart phone.

Across train stations in France, vending machines have been installed that print off free short stories to give commuters an alternative to checking Facebook on their way to and from work.

Printed on paper (retro!), one of the 5,000 anonymously written stories can be selected for waits of one, three or five minutes and range from children's stories to lyrical poetry.

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Christophe Sibieude, director of Short Edition the publishing house behind the scheme, told Télérama: "Our ambition is to see distributors pop up everywhere to encourage reading – and writing – and to promote our artists."

Très bien.