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Hamburger Automatenverlag Book Vending Machines

A German publisher commandeers automats in an effort to promote reading

by Laura Neilson in Culture on 02 June 2010


In an effort to both reuse retired cigarette vending machines and encourage literacy (not to mention sell a few books), newly-minted German publisher Hamburger Automatenverlag recently introduced a resourceful new concept—the book vending machine. Basing their name on the concept, the publishing house's clever street project supplants one unhealthy habit with a positive one through the re-purposing of existing resources.

The machines vary in size and are currently scattered throughout the University of Hamburg and its surrounding neighborhood. A mere €4 fee secures your pick from a rotating assortment of small-format novels, photo books, graphic novels and collections of poetry—all by local authors.

From pizza and ramen to seed bombs and even sneakers, this decade has seen a lot of unlikely objects coming out of vending machines.


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