Yesterday, I heard this story on NPR about a book vending machine in Toronto that randomly dispenses used books. It sounded bizarre, so I hunted down the video to share. The Biblio-Mat is a cool idea and a fun way to dispose of hard to move book titles.
The Biblio-Mat is a random book dispenser built by Craig Small for The Monkey’s Paw, an idiosyncratic antiquarian bookshop in Toronto. Biblio-Mat books, which vary widely in size and subject matter, cost two dollars. The machine was conceived as an artful alternative to the ubiquitous and often ignored discount sidewalk bin. When a customer puts coins into it, the Biblio-Mat dramatically whirrs and vibrates as the machine is set in motion. The ring of an old telephone bell enhances the thrill when the customer’s mystery book is delivered with a satisfying clunk into the receptacle below.