Are you a bibliophile so ardent about your love for books that your eyes light up and your heart skips a beat upon hearing the words “rare books?” Well, there’s an interesting retro-designed vending machine in a Toronto bookstore that allows you to get your rare book fix without the exorbitant price! Find out more in this installment of The Analogue Reader!
Heads up, fellow bibliophiles! In a Toronto bookstore named Monkey's Paw, you will find an interesting vintage-y vending machine labeled with an intriguing phrase: “Old and Unusual.” It also promises to give you a reading companion that will surprise you, something you most likely haven’t even heard about before. The best part? You can get one of these “rare” readings for just $2.
It might be a struggle to find old and rare books in good condition on your own, but, you can trust Monkey’s Paw owner Stephen Fowler to keep the vending machine, called “Biblio-Mat,” stocked with intriguing titles that are at least 25 years old, some even 100 years old. Why? because the bookstore itself is in the business of providing curious customers with “the experience of discovering interesting old printed artifacts.” However, with the machine’s success since installation in October 2012, he also says it’s becoming a challenge to spot rare books that he’d be willing to sell for such a low price.
Fowler, who told Fastcoexist.com that he handpicks all the titles handed out by the Biblio-Mat, also said that the idea began from something that was as simple and low-tech as you can get—a cardboard box with someone inside dropping these books. He shared this idea to a friend, Craig Small, who transformed it into something bigger. “I wanted to make this a destination piece for the store and was hoping it would resonate with three types of people: book lovers, appreciators of design, and makers,” he says.
And so, this fascinating vending machine for bibliophiles, which Small describes as a mix of vending machine and a kinetic sculpture, was born.
Watch the Biblio-Mat in action in the clip below:
All information and photos for this article were sourced from Fastcoexist.com