Just a few months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Toronto and strolled right into The Monkey’s Paw, an “antiquarian shop specializing in uncommon books and paper artifacts from the age of print.” Upon entering, I was immediately drawn to this beautiful, vintage-looking vending machine. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it sold random books for only $2. Named the “Biblio-Mat,” it’s the world’s first randomizing vending machine for old books.
The Biblio-Mat was built by Craig Small for The Monkey’s Paw. According to the owners, “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.” Watch the video below to see it in action!
Photo credit: Eugene Kim / My Modern Met