Downtown Berkeley BART station

Founded in 2011, Short Édition is a French publishing house (with an American subsidiary since 2018) that aims to “raise literary awareness, encourage new and emerging writers, and highlight the importance and timelessness of literature.”

“Imagined, designed and made in France”

To support their mission, they created the Short Story Dispenser in 2016. The dispensers allow users to choose a 1-, 3-, or 5-minute story and have it printed with thermal technology onto recyclable, sustainably sourced paper – free of charge!

When I recently spotted a Short Story Dispenser at the Downtown Berkeley BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station, I had to keep myself from squealing! Since I enjoy reading and I love books, I couldn’t wait to see what short story the dispenser would give me.

For instance, when I selected a 1-minute story, I got the following poem by American poet, Emily Dickinson:

Poem by Emily Dickinson: “ ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” (1861)

The element of surprise makes it fun.

Currently, there are over 300 dispensers installed across five continents. They are located in airports, train stations, public libraries, cafes, and more. (Visit the Short Édition website to find dispenser locations near you.)

If you’ve seen these Short Story Dispensers, let me know!