Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Biblio-Mat

From Open Culture (one of my favorite sites).

This device, called a Biblio-Mat (Biblio-Robot), was inspired by Stephen Fowler, owner of a second-hand bookstore in Toronto, Canada and instantiated by Craig Small.

This lovely little device will dispense random books for the very modest price of $2 (that's two Canadian dollars which is about 1.5 Euros).  What a cool concept.

It's been installed in a Toronto used book store called The Monkey's Paw.  I think it would be well worth buying a plane ticket from Paris to Toronto just to be able to walk in there, use the device and get a random book.  Why?  Because it perfectly satisfies my inner geek, my bodice-ripping book lust and the hidden joueuse (gambler) who intends to play the cosmic crapshoot of life as long as she can.

Of course there are other reasons as well to visit the fair city of Toronto so I'm going to put it at the top of the list of future Flophouse destinations once I get well enough to get on an airplane again.

And many thanks to Patrick Moore of Toronto who was passing by the Monkey's Paw and was kind enough to send along this photo.  Merci infiniment, Pat. 

The BIBLIO-MAT from Craig Small on Vimeo.

3 comments:

Ellen said...

This would be a cool idea for the American Library in Paris book sales! I will definitely forward the link to the post to someone there!

EJ said...

It wasn't nearly as glamorous, and neither do we have it every day, but at the library where I work, we've had an occasional special display of surprise books -- brown paper bundles, each containing a small selection of books chosen by a librarian, which you could check out without seeing what they were.

People loved it -- it was perfect for the adventurous readers whose favorite element of visiting the library is getting a recommendation to read a book they'd never have noticed on their own.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

@Ellen, I think it would be a real hit.

@EJ, That's another great idea. And you're right about the adventurous and libraries. And that is what makes libraries special - the recommendations from knowledgeable folks (librarians and other readers) and also the chance to simply cruise the stacks until you stumble upon something great.