There are now vending machines dotted around London that issue short stories for commuters and they're absolutely free.
For many of us, despite having to work for eight hours or more a day, the worst part of that is the part which comes slightly before and after. The daily commute. Having to sit on a crowded bus or a packed tube train, desperately trying to not make any eye contact with your fellow commuters.
That is easier said than done. For some of us, it's as easy as intently staring at our phone screens for the duration of the journey. However, most of us will have experienced that dreaded occurrence when our phone's battery dies or our device gives up the ghost altogether. What do we do then? Where do we look? We run the terrifying risk of actually having to speak to a stranger.
If you're a commuter in London then Short Edition might well have you covered. The company has placed three vending machines in different locations around Canary Wharf. What good is a soda or a packet of chips going to do your daily commute, we hear you ask? Well, not a lot, but these aren't your average vending machines. They don't dispense snacks, they issue short stories.
They're called Short Story Stations and after success in France and Hong Kong, you can now find them in England's capital, reports Metro. The stories include tales from a variety of genres and even feature condensed versions of classics by iconic writers such as Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens. Plus, the best part of all, the stories are absolutely free. All you need to do is hit the button.
Since the Short Story Stations can only be found in Canary Wharf, Metro has another idea to make this one even more novel. If you do happen to pick one up, once you're done with it then why not stick it to the window or tuck it in between the seats? That way, another commuter further afield than Canary Wharf might benefit from it too. Just a thought that could lead to the idea's effect becoming even more widespread.