As librarians, part of our day-to-day responsibilities involve dealing with vendors who provide resources to us, the library, to pass along to you, the patrons. This is a big business, as anybody who has ever been to a major library conference and seen the impressive displays and salesmanship on offer. This all highlights the impressively idiosyncratic twist on the idea of a book vendor that is has been established by impressively idiosyncratic Toronto book store the Monkey’s Paw – an actual vending machine that dispenses completely random books.
Called the Bibliomat, the vending machine will dispense a book for a mere toonie, with the catch being that you will not know what you’ll be getting until you buy it and it spits out your new purchase. Given the nature of the bookstore (which is to say, a very unusual but well-curated selection of ephemera), it is safe to say that it is unlikely that it will be something that you own already.
Check out a video of the machine at work here: