Calling all indecisive readers, this just in: Lady Luck has gone literary. Never again will you find yourself mute and immobile, mouth agape, standing in awe of the shelves...at least if you live in Toronto. At the Monkey's Paw, there's now a vending machine that randomly dispenses a book after you insert $2. It's called The Biblio-Mat, and from now, on you can leave all of your literary decision making entirely up to fate.
The Monkey's Paw, a Toronto shop that sells lots of cultural objects and 20th-century printed matter, describes themselves as the place where you'll find "the book you didn’t know you were looking for" — and as Reddit users who've had experience with The Biblio-Mat have found, that looks to ring true. Take a look below at the user who put in $2 and came out with Jewish Funerary Customs, Practices and Rites in the Second Temple Period — quite the random vend, no?
If he or she was looking for Proust, she was probably sorely disappointed...but look what ended up happening. Another industrious Internet maven discovered that randomized vending of Jewish Funerary Customs was a score — it actually sells for upwards of $200 online.
When you play the odds, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose — but if you ask me, the real reward here is the game itself. All too often I find myself gravitating to the same familiar authors or trendy, well-publicized titles simply for lack of a better way to find new work. So, really, what could be better than a vending machine that dispenses reading material at random? It's as though the universe itself is making a recommendation.
If you're feeling the urge for a little uncertainty in your literary life and you're willing to take the $2 plunge, make your way to Monkey's Paw at 1229 Dundas Street West in downtown Toronto, home to The Biblio-Mat. And, whatever you do, please report back to Reddit and let us all know just how your liaison with fate left you feeling.
To borrow from a title so of the now you certainly won't find it stocked by The Biblio-Mat for many years to come, "May the odds be ever in your favor."
Image: Numismatic Bibliomania Society/Flickr