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Culture

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 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. Biblio-Mat books, which widely vary in size and subject matter, cost only 2 dollars.

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A Free Library In The Tokyo Subway

Tokyo Metro Book Share

I came across an interesting story on Tokyo Story about a book-sharing system in the metro of the Japanese capital. If you go to Nezu station on the Chiyoda subway line of the Tokyo Metro, you will find these unusual bookcases. In the shape of an old fashioned metro train, this public book-sharing installation enables travelers to read whilst sitting in the driver’s compartment of the fist carriage. You can also take a book with you to read while commuting in the ever busy Tokyo subway. As soon as you have finished it, you can return it.

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Hot Tub Cinema Pops Up On East London Rooftop

Hot Tub Cinema, London

At the Pop-Up City we always like new concepts. Talking cinemas, we’ve seen a lot of new stuff over the past years: a bike-in cinema in Amsterdam, a parasite cinema in an Auckland porch and a pedal-powered cinema in the city of Derby. This summer, however, Londoners could combine watching a movie with taking a hot bath in the so-called Hot Tub Cinema. The Hot Tub Cinema is a traveling screening event that creates a unique experience for its visitors. Taking over the rooftop of Netil360 in East London, the Hot Tub Cinema was a huge success. Classic films like Top Gun and Anchorman were screened against the background of London’s inimitable skyline.

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  • Designers Turn Abandoned Walmart Into America’s Largest Library

    McAllen Public Library

    Walmarts, the granddaddy of big box stores, are ubiquitous in America. Their lumbering structures and parking lots cover vast areas – a single store is the size of 2.5 football fields. Often cited as a major reason for sprawl in North America, Walmarts have been further criticised for their habit of abandoning stores for various reasons from upgrading to poor business. These soulless shells often sit idle for long periods, taking up space and infrastructure, contributing to nothing but blight. When the city of McAllen, Texas inherited one such store, it decided to give it a better use. Designers Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle completely overhauled the interior to create a bright and playful space for books and people to intermingle. At 124,500 sqft, this McAllen Public Library is the largest single-floor public library in the US.

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    Restaurant Day In Amsterdam — A Report

    Restaurant Day Amsterdam

    Around the globe one week ago, strangers broke bread and clinked glasses to celebrate Restaurant Day, a new Finnish tradition that has taken the casual dining world by storm and surprise. From Helsinki to Tokyo, people set up pop-up restaurants and dining tables and everyone celebrated the spirit of creativity and just having a nice time. It’s a seasonally-occurring dining event that encourages everyone to relax and enjoy themselves, and it just might be coming to a park, boat peer, or street corner near you. In Amsterdam, six restaurants set up shop for the day, each one providing a different taste of hospitality. In Vondelpark a pop-up picnic offered granola and cakes starting at 11 AM, a nice pick-me-up to start a sunny Sunday morning.

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    Open Your Own Little Free Library

    Little Free Library

    I know you guys like new-style street and commmunity libraries (like this one, this one, this one or this one), so I’m happy to share another library project I came across. Inspired by the Little Free Library movement, Boing Boing blogger Amy Seidenwurm decided to open her own library in public space with help from friends and relatives. ‘Little Free Library #2646′ is located on a “sad vacant lot near our house and a nursery school”, Seidenwurm explains. The Little Free Library project started out as an idea to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free  book exchanges around the world. Over the last years the project has grown into an international movement with more than 2,510 (!) community-driven libraries.

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  • Hebrew Teacher Teaches Student Street Smarts With Tel Aviv Graffiti Tour

    Tel Aviv Graffiti Tour

    Two of the best ways to understand a place is by learning the local language and checking out the street art, but it can be challenging to take the time to master both. But if you’re in Tel Aviv, Guy Sharett can take you on a tour of graffiti in Florentine, one of Tel Aviv’s hippest and most colourful neighbourhoods, and explain the plays on words in stencils, poetic texts in window fronts, and municipal signs.

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    Curitiba Cable Car Transforms Into A Library Train

    Library train, Curitiba

    After serving as a humble train wagon, the cable car was installed in 1973 within the center of Curitiba, Brazil, in an attempt to provide entertainment in the heart of the city. It has had many after-lives ever since. First a children care unit to take care of children when their parents needed a break, the colorful wagon was transformed in a tourist information spot during the 1980s. As of 2010, the wagon was transformed into an open library train providing books for local residents.

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