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Get a short story to read on your commute from these free vending machines

James Manning

First, there was the welcome return of Books on the Underground. Now another initiative has landed to get London commuters reading – and this one is perfect for smartphone-ravaged attention spans.

Three ‘literary vending machines’ have appeared in Canary Wharf. Press a button and the machines will print you a story that takes only one, three or five minutes to read. The stories are picked randomly, but include works of all genres by writers such as Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll, as well as a newly written one-minute whodunnit by Anthony Horowitz.

The Short Story Stations are absolutely free to use and the printing process is BPA-free and FSC-certified, making it eco-friendly according to Short Édition – the French company responsible for the machines. Swing by Crossrail Place Roof Garden, Churchill Place or Jubilee Place Mall to add a literary kick to your commute.

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