Biblio-Mat Vending Machine Dispenses Random Second-Hand Books

Biblio-Mat vending machine, Toronto
  • The Monkey’s Paw, an idiosyncratic second-hand bookstore in Toronto, has installed this entertaining one-of-a-kind vending machine. The so-called Biblio-Mat dispenses random titles of old books.

    Buying a book is really a surprise here! Don’t be worried, you can expect something nice and interesting for sure, as the books inside the machine are curated by the antiquarian book shop that’s specialized in uncommon and out-of-print books, ephemera, and images. Books from the Biblio-Mat, which widely vary in size and subject matter, only cost 2 dollars.

    Biblio-Mat vending machine, Toronto

    Biblio-Mat vending machine, Toronto

    Biblio-Mat vending machine, Toronto

    “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. All the books are specially prepared with a nice looking wrapper around the cover.”

    Built especially for The Monkey’s Paw by Craig Small, this Biblio-Mat adds an new experience to reading. Take a lucky shot and perhaps you’ll discover a whole unexpected new style in literature. Thinking a little further, these kinds of Biblio-Mats would be perfect to serve busy travelers in metro stations. Lately we wrote about the free book kiosk in the Tokyo metro. Here the books are not for free, but every book is a surprise in itself. Especially when the books are well curated, this is a great installation that helps us to re-use second-hand books in a nice way.