Holiday travel can be stressful, especially when it comes to navigating a busy airport. Plus, once you get through security, waiting for your flight can sometimes be a bit of a bore.
Just in time for the busy Christmas rush, the Edmonton International Airport has unveiled a unique short story dispensing machine.
The machine allows travellers to select either a one-, three- or five-minute story that prints on a piece of receipt paper. The stories, which passengers can enjoy as they wait for their flight, are written by both local and international writers.
“We’re really excited. Here at the airport, we want to be a reflection of our community and we have a great literary community here in Edmonton, so this gives us a chance to feature some of our local authors’ works in short story form,” EIA spokesperson Traci Bednard said.
The machine is located in the domestic terminal near the living wall. It is free to use.
“The airport is the first and last impression of our community. So if we can really program this airport to be a reflection of our community, that’s really important both for us as Edmontonians, but also for the tourists that are coming and visiting our community,” Bednard said.
“We’re really proud of the literary people that we have here in our city and it’s a great opportunity to give them a chance to promote some of their works.”
Katie Bickell is a local writer who has two one-minute reads in the machine. She said the short stories offer readers a “slice of life in Edmonton.”
“I think that writing is a very difficult medium to introduce sometimes and I love that this is kind of a touristy fun thing that we can do — a way to showcase literary culture in Edmonton,” she said.
“I’m just really excited about the idea of having Edmonton writers in this machine. We can introduce some of Edmonton’s literary scene to the world in this location.”
The machine is designed by a France-based company called Short Edition. The machines, which look like thin towers, are used all over France, and in major American cities, including San Francisco, Penn State and Boston.
EIA is the first Canadian location, and just the second airport in the world, to showcase the machines.
Local writers interested in having their work featured in the machine can visit the airport’s website for more information.