Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Vending Machines

I read a recent article about book vending machines, and I thought what a great idea! If I can buy earphones and iPods in vending machines, why shouldn't I be able to buy a book? It seems, however, that this is not a new-fangled idea but one that has been around for awhile. Here is a model from 1947, the Book-O-Matic.

Recent models can be found in airports and in subways. I have even heard of libraries having versions where you take an old  book that someone left in the machine and in exchange you leave one of your own books.

And at the 2013 WORD book festival in British Columbia there were vending machines that dispensed poems. Read about the Poetry Project here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/automated-poetry-project-at-word-vancouver-festival#home

A Toronto bookshop, Monkey's Paw, created the BIBLIO-MAT. As the world's first vending machine to dole out randomly selected used books for the cost of a toonie, Stephen Fowler (the owner of the store) calls the BIBLIO-MAT an "antiquarian book randomizer."
What fun!