I love books. Even though I'm (ashamedly) a Kindle groupie, there's something about a good, old-fashioned paperback that really does it for me.
I recently came across a great (if outdated) design project courtesy of The Monkey's Paw, a bookstore in Toronto, Canada, specializing in "old and unusual" finds. Created in 2012 by the store's owner, Stephen Fowler, and animator Craig Small of Juggernaut (a Toronto-based ad agency), the Biblio-mat is a vending machine that dispenses random, used books for $2.00 each. The Biblio-mat is an artful and inspired alternative to often-ignored "give-one, take-one" sidewalk bins—a dream come true for the "curious bibliophile."
The machine itself is located in the back corner of The Monkey's Paw. It's a hulking beast (about the size of a refrigerator) and is painted a vintage pistachio green with chrome accents. Antique lettering on the front reads "Every book a surprise. No two alike. Collect all 112 million titles." When coins are inserted, the Biblio-mat responds with overly-dramatic whirrs and vibrations as the process is set in motion. The satisfying ring of an old telephone bell announces the delivery of a mystery book into the receptacle below. Books included in the Biblio-mat are one-of-a-kind to say the least, with titles ranging anywhere from vintage dog training manuals to the 1970's cult classic Your Prostate (a captivating read, I'm sure).
It's a beautifully designed ode to vintage books for all those who believe in serendipity.