Singapore introduces book vending machines

Reading Time: 1 minute

Book vending machine1Forget Facebook, Twitter and Kindle: In times of the Internet, when no-one seems to be reading a real book anymore, Singapore now went retro. An independent bookstore in the city state, BooksActually, on June 3 launched the first-ever book vending machines in the country which allows people to buy books on-the-go.

As a beginning, two vending machines have been placed at the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Visitor Center on Orchard Road. Each vending machine stores about 120 to 150 books of more than 20 different titles of Singaporean writers.

“The machines are our way of bringing Singapore literature out of our bookstore and closer to the public,” Renee Ting, manager at BooksActually, says.

“We believe it is important that people are aware of the thriving arts scene that exists in Singapore. It’s not comparable to big cities, but it’s something,” Ting said.

Despite only providing Singaporean works, the vending machines have plenty of genres on offer, ranging from poetry and short stories to graphic novels and children’s books. The books are affordable, priced from 10 to 35 Singapore dollars ($7.37 to $25.80), and the machines are also stocked with some DVDs and CDs with Singapore documentaries and music.

BooksActually is set to unveil its third machine at the Goodman Arts Center in late June and aims at installing more book vending machines at train stations and airports in the future, and possibly expand to overseas.

While the idea has been well-received by Singaporeans, it is not new. Other countries with book vending machines include Japan, which is known for machines selling pocket-sized books and manga comics, and European countries such as Spain, Germany and Sweden.

The first publisher to use book vending machines was Penguin Books in London in the 1930s.

Book vending machine

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Forget Facebook, Twitter and Kindle: In times of the Internet, when no-one seems to be reading a real book anymore, Singapore now went retro. An independent bookstore in the city state, BooksActually, on June 3 launched the first-ever book vending machines in the country which allows people to buy books on-the-go.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Book vending machine1Forget Facebook, Twitter and Kindle: In times of the Internet, when no-one seems to be reading a real book anymore, Singapore now went retro. An independent bookstore in the city state, BooksActually, on June 3 launched the first-ever book vending machines in the country which allows people to buy books on-the-go.

As a beginning, two vending machines have been placed at the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Visitor Center on Orchard Road. Each vending machine stores about 120 to 150 books of more than 20 different titles of Singaporean writers.

“The machines are our way of bringing Singapore literature out of our bookstore and closer to the public,” Renee Ting, manager at BooksActually, says.

“We believe it is important that people are aware of the thriving arts scene that exists in Singapore. It’s not comparable to big cities, but it’s something,” Ting said.

Despite only providing Singaporean works, the vending machines have plenty of genres on offer, ranging from poetry and short stories to graphic novels and children’s books. The books are affordable, priced from 10 to 35 Singapore dollars ($7.37 to $25.80), and the machines are also stocked with some DVDs and CDs with Singapore documentaries and music.

BooksActually is set to unveil its third machine at the Goodman Arts Center in late June and aims at installing more book vending machines at train stations and airports in the future, and possibly expand to overseas.

While the idea has been well-received by Singaporeans, it is not new. Other countries with book vending machines include Japan, which is known for machines selling pocket-sized books and manga comics, and European countries such as Spain, Germany and Sweden.

The first publisher to use book vending machines was Penguin Books in London in the 1930s.

Book vending machine

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