Biblio-Mat vending machine dispenses random books

Forget candy bars. Feed your mind with a freshly delivered used book from the Biblio-Mat machine.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
Your random book awaits. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

You could walk up to a vending machine and blow $2 on a giant soda that will give you a sugar buzz and rot your teeth. Or you could walk up to a Biblio-Mat vending machine and wisely spend $2 on a book that will enrich your mind and soul.

The Biblio-Mat is installed at the Monkey's Paw used and antiquarian bookstore in Toronto. It was built by designer Craig Small and takes the place of the usual discount book bin that so often sits lonely and neglected in front of bookstores.

Half the fun of the Biblio-Mat is not knowing what book you'll get, but that could also lead to disappointments. Oh great, another copy of "The Anatomy of Melancholy." I already read it twice!

A video of the machine in action shows it spitting out "The Mushroom Feast," "TA for Kids," and "Wunnerful, Wunnerful! The Autobiography of Lawrence Welk."

The machine politely suggests that you "collect all 112 million titles." Better start scrounging up some change from between the couch cushions. You're going to need it.

(Via Reddit)