Push a button. Read a story.
This is the concept behind the short-story dispenser installed at the Prudential Center, one of the few locations in the U.S. to host a vending machine-like device that lets passersby access short stories for free. On Saturday morning, the dispenser was located in the middle of the Back Bay Arcade.
Now, the fact that there’s a short-story dispenser at the Prudential Center is not, technically, news. The Boston Globe reported that the machine was installed “at the Pru” in May 2017.
However, it was originally located in the corridor that leads to Barnes & Noble, according to this article. On Saturday, the machine was dispensing stories from a much more visible location, approximately between the Rolex and the Boston Sports Clubs stores.
The short-story dispenser lets user select their preferred reading time among the options of one minute, three minutes or five minutes. By simply pushing a button, the machine delivers a random short story printed on a receipt-like scroll of paper.
The machine is an invention of Short Edition, a French publishing startup created in 2011 as a participatory platform for writers. Readers can share their experiences with the machines with the hashtag #prustories.
Love the story kiosk! It’s like being a kid again. I got a 1 minute story by Miss Flof “Lilly Melancholy”. It has stuck with me. Here for a late Valentine’s Day so it’s especially sweet ❤️#prustories
— EllisGBS (@EllisGBS) February 18, 2018