We thought that Brazenhead Books might qualify as the quirkiest bookstore we’ve encountered. After all, it’s run out of Michael Seidenberg’s apartment in New York City. But get a load of this: The Monkey’s Paw, which calls itself “Toronto’s most idiosyncratic second-hand bookshop,” has installed the Biblio-mat, a vending machine that dispenses random books for a very nominal fee — $2 per book. (If you’re looking for $0, see our lists below.) In a recent interview with QuillandQuire.com, Stephen Fowler, the bookstore’s owner, explained the story behind the Biblio-mat:
I went fishing this past summer with Craig Small, co-founder of The Juggernaut, an animation studio in Toronto. I had this idea that I would love to have a vending machine that gave out random books. I pictured it as a painted refrigerator box with one of my assistants inside; people would put in a coin and he would drop a book out. But Craig is more pragmatic and visionary then I am. He said, “You need to have an actual mechanical vending machine.” That was beyond my wildest imaginings, but not Craig’s, so he just built it for me.
Thanks to Small, you can now watch the Biblio-mat in action above. It whirrs. It vibrates. And it finally delivers a book with a satisfying clunk.
via Galley Cat