book machine

The Newest Book Vending Machine You Never Knew You Needed

We’re all pretty familiar with the short story vending machines that are sprinkled throughout Europe, but now there is a new vendor in town. The Monkey’s Paw in Toronto, Canada is home to the Biblio-Mat, a vending machine that randomly distributes an “old and unusual” book for only $2 CAD (~$1.50 USD). 



Image via Vimeo


The Monkey’s Paw is known for and specializes in lesser known and appreciated books spanning the 20th century. The vending machine was created as a kind of alternative to the typical discount or clearance racks and bins often seen outside of bookstores.


Stocked with books that don’t have any practical retail value, but are still interesting and worth distributing, the machine whirrs to life when the coin is inserted, completing the transaction with the ring of an antique telephone bell.



Image via Craig Small

Explaining to Quill & Quire, owner Stephen Fowler originally imagined the Biblio-Mat “as a painted refrigerator box with one of my assistants inside; people would put in a coin and he would drop a book out.” Thanks to a friend of Fowler’s, that version of the machine never made it, but the current version created in 2012 is completely automated.


Adding even more charm to an already charming used bookstore, the Biblio-Mat has become an extension of the store, providing new and otherwise unknown books to customers. One of those customers being The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood.


Featured Image Via OnFiction