A mechanical celebration of serendipity. It was created to help you find the book you didn’t know you were looking for.
The BIBLIO-MAT is a random book vending machine designed and 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 antique telephone bell enhances the thrill when the customer’s mystery book is delivered with a satisfying clunk into the receptacle below.
“This! Is! Brilliant!”
“I want awesome people like the ones that built this thing around me ALL THE TIME.”
– Spock says wut?
“No thanks, I won’t pay $2 for a rubbish book that I probably don’t want to read just in order to clear this guys unmovable stock.”
“Who the hell would want a random book?! Bring back the dollar bin.”
– Michael Willour
“oh my fucking god! oh my fucking god! this is the coolest fucking thing I’ve ever seen!!!!!! want! want! want!”
“I WANT TO BRING ONE OF THESE ON TOUR”
– Amanda Fucking Palmer
“One of the coolest things I’ve seen in ages. Invention of the year?”
– Matt Galloway
“A random used-book vending machine. I think I am in love.”
– Neil Gaiman
MARGARET ATWOOD TELLS STROMBO ABOUT THE BIBLIO‑MAT
Margaret Atwood – living literary legend, prolific tweeter and inventor of the LongPen technology for signing virtual autographs – is jazzed about something new that she calls “serendipity” for book lovers. (CBC.ca)
Book-Vending Machine Dispenses Suspense
The vending machine experience can once again excite you, but by feeding your mind, not your stomach.
Simulations of various book delivery systems: