Introducing the Biblio-mat book-vending machine
A second-hand bookshop in Toronto called The Monkey’s Paw has designed a vending machine which will plop out a random book for two dollars. I think this is a fantastic idea, and would have a very hard time not giving it a try a few times; the whole machine is made even better by the sales pitch on the front “Every book a surprise, no two alike, collect all 112 million titles”. You can try your own version of this lucky dip for books on AbeBooks (albeit in a less stylish manner), just follow this link to the most recently listed $1 novels with photos… who knows what you will find.
Quill & Quire magazine recently posted an interview with the shop’s owner, Stephen Fowler.
What is the story behind the Biblio-mat?
I went fishing this past summer with Craig Small, co-founder of The Juggernaut, an animation studio in Toronto. I had this idea that I would love to have a vending machine that gave out random books. I pictured it as a painted refrigerator box with one of my assistants inside; people would put in a coin and he would drop a book out. But Craig is more pragmatic and visionary then I am. He said, “You need to have an actual mechanical vending machine.” That was beyond my wildest imaginings, but not Craig’s, so he just built it for me.