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Thread: You can get candy from a machine, why not a book?

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    CCL
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    You can get candy from a machine, why not a book?

    Can't Wait for a Book? Paris Can Help


    By JENNY BARCHFIELD
    Associated Press Writer


    PARIS -- Readers craving Homer, Baudelaire or Lewis Carroll in the middle of the night can get a quick fix at one of the French capital's five newly installed book vending machines.

    "We have customers who know exactly what they want and come at all hours to get it," said Xavier Chambon, president of Maxi-Livres, a low-cost publisher and book store chain that debuted the vending machines in June. "It's as if our stores were open 24 hours a day."




    Stocked with 25 of Maxi-Livres best-selling titles, the machines cover the gamut of literary genres and tastes. Classics like "The Odyssey" by Homer and Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" share the limited shelf space with such practical must-haves as "100 Delicious Couscous" and "Verb Conjugations."

    "Our biggest vending machine sellers are 'The Wok Cookbook' and a French-English dictionary," said Chambon, who added that poet Charles Baudelaire's "Les Fleurs du Mal" -- "The Flowers of Evil" -- also is "very popular."

    Regardless of whether they fall into the category of high culture or low, all books cost a modest $2.45.

    Installed in four busy Metro stops and a chic street corner in central Paris, Maxi-Livre's distributors were designed to bypass the characteristic vending-machine-drop, which can be punishing for books.

    "We knew that French bibliophiles would be horrified to see their books falling into a trough like candy or soda," Chambon said. "So we installed a mechanical arm that grabs the book and delivers it safely."

    Books are but the latest offering in France's ever-expanding vending machine market, which is responding to off-hour demand for everything from toilet paper to carnations.
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    Interesting idea. I don't know that I have ever so urgently needed a book that I would have to go out in the middle of the night. I wonder what it would have been like if the new HP had been released in the vending machine?
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    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    Candy from a book? Just kidding, I get it.

    Frankly, if you need to read Baudelaire at 3:00 a.m. the complete works are probably available with a simple Google search.

    But it's better than the underwear vending machines in Japan (if those exist...I've never figured out if that was an urban legend or what).
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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    LOVE this idea! I read the article on Yahoo! and thought it was a great idea. They should put them in airports for those times when nothing is open and you want something to read for your flight. So smart to have the French-English dictionary available that way - I could see myself putting out $2.50 for one of those if I got in a pinch!

    This sort of reminded me of Jasper Fforde and the Thursday Next books - sounds like something Fforde would have thought up!
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    giz
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    I thought this was part of the French desire to appear uber-literate and sophis-teecated, but then in the last paragraph they say the have vending machines for loads of things. Quelle bizarre! Vending machines or not, I'd be on the first plane there if I had the money. Vive la France.

    Final thought: is this a evil ploy to undermine French shop-workers? I see the dire hand of greed at work here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giz
    Final thought: is this a evil ploy to undermine French shop-workers? I see the dire hand of greed at work here.
    Well, at least a vending machine won't tick off le Oprah.

    I, too, like some of you, think this is a great idea. I think the toilet paper one is probably more practical but I can see where this would come in handy when you are bored somewhere.

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    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferInCO
    Well, at least a vending machine won't tick off le Oprah.
    Perhaps Hermes might consider setting up a vending machine full of their wares for those occasions when one is running late for a dinner and needs a tres chic gift for their uber-wealthy friend?
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    CCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by hepcat
    Candy from a book? Just kidding, I get it.
    Oh, dear. I can see where the headline would have been misread. I guess I have to read that Eats, Shoots and Leaves book after all.
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    Picture Perfect SnowflakeGirl's Avatar
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    I love this idea! I would totally fall for it too, as I am a bad bibliophile and impulse shopper. And late night crappy snack junkie.

    [SFG dream sequence]Let's see, I'll just press B3 for The Portable Voltaire and...G12 for the Wasabi Flavored Funyuns. Excellent! [/SFG dream sequence]
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    J/J for the win! DJeterFan's Avatar
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    I think that's kind of cool! Maybe if more people read rather than played video games or watched tv (or at least read in addition to those things), book machines could catch on elsewhere.

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    JESSICA: #1 AntmSTarTa's Avatar
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    I thought of it as getting candy from a book at first too!
    But this is a really great idea IMO. Just incase you need to do some last minute studying and the library and the book store's closed, there's always a vending machine!

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