Vending Machine of the Day: the Biblio-Mat
For the Japanese, who claim the highest number of vending machines per capita, visiting the United States is going from feast to famine. America's selection of coin-acquired goods seems to have actually declined from the heyday of gelatinous hand dispensers and Automats (Amsterdam currently has a thriving network of the latter).
Even our well-mannered Northern neighbor is getting ahead. At the Toronto bookshop Monkey's Paw (named after the terrifying W. W. Jacobs short story), Craig Small has designed the Biblio-Mat, a vending machine for the used books.
Intended to address the large quantity of used books that typically sit in bins outside a bookstore (too weird to profit from, too rare to recycle), the Biblio-Mat dispenses a random used book for $2. Like the Random Wikipedia Generator (click that link as many times as you want), it offers the pleasure of knowledge without the burden of choice.
For the price of a bottle of water, why not take your chances with the Biblio-Mat in a train station or an airport?