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Vending Machine Idea

Book Vending Machine promote local culture and literature

Singapore’s first book vending machines is installed by local bookseller BooksActually.

Around 60 items, including books, CDs and films by local creators, were purchased from the two machines during their first weekend of operation.

We’re looking really to raise awareness and create excitement around Singaporean literature and creatives, not to boost sales, and we’re humbled by all the attention (the machines) are getting.

Ms Kiu, BooksActually

The machines first began operation last Friday,with one set up at the National Museum of Singapore and the other two at the Singapore Visitor Centre and Goodman Arts Centre.

Since their installation, the machines have received a fair amount of media attention, including overseas news sites such as Mashable and The Reading Room.

They have also caused a stir on social media – the publicity announcement on BooksActually’s Facebook page has over a thousand likes.

We’re thankful for all the features. With all the attention the book vending machines are getting, the interest in the store and Singaporean literature in general should spike.

The machines’ novelty may be the major selling point for now, but BooksActually hopes the hype will soon be about the books themselves.

Each machine features up to 20 titles by Singaporean writers and artists, including novels, DVDs and anthologies of poetry and short stories.

Popular titles include children’s mystery series Sherlock Sam by Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez, and Alvin Pang’s What Gives Us Our Names.

Prices on the vending machines are the same as those stated on the BooksActually’s website, and the machines give change in coins.

Mr Ryan Low, 22, a university student, says he was not disappointed.

I feel like the selection was carefully done and the books in there all seemed fantastic. There was even a small panel that flashed summaries and reviews of the books in the machine.

Ryan Low