Bang For Your Buck: Bad Dollar Brings Short Stories Timed To Match Your Commute

by Georgia Bobley · March 28, 2012

    Gone are the days of having to stop reading in the middle of a great chapter because your subway ride has come to an end. Thanks to Bad Dollar, New Yorkers and Londoners can now download short stories that take the same number of minutes to read as the number of minutes they spend on the train -- for just a buck.

    Andy Whitlock, who founded Bad Dollar and who is a writer himself, explains the beginnings of his site:

    "I thought to myself: A great short story is worth paying a small amount for. Especially when you think of all the times we spend small amounts of money on things like weak coffee, or lottery tickets. And if more people spent that small amount of money on a short story both they and the writers would be happier. Only the makers of Angry Birds would be a bit peeved. Then I thought (I was on a roll): wouldn’t it be fun to write stories all about the terrible things people could have spent their money on instead? And so Bad Dollar was born: $1 stories about worse ways to spend a dollar."

    Readers can choose from a variety of user-submitted stories, and can click on each title to read a page-long preview. By looking at a subway map of London or New York, you can see the stories that best match your commute time, and of course, all stories cost $1!

    If you have a story that fits the site's criteria:

    "Your story must hinge around the spending of a single dollar. And this act of spending a dollar must lead to something ‘bad’ happening. E.g. A teacher buys an aspirin from a student that turns out to be ecstasy; a boy uses coin-operated binoculars at the beach and witnesses a murder. And so on. Basically, when the reader finishes the story, they should think: Man, spending a dollar on this AMAZING story is WAY better than the way this person spent it."

    You can submit it for consideration to be published on the site, but make it good...only the best stories make the cut!

    [Photos via]