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Singapore Welcomes Ingenious New Book Vending Machines

In an effort to promote local reading culture, municipal authorities established a book street in Saigon earlier this year and plan to launch another in Hanoi this December. An independent bookstore in Singapore, however, has taken things to the next level with book vending machines.

This June, BooksActually unveiled the first three book vending machines in Singapore.

Kenny Leth, the bookstore’s owner, told Channel News Asia that he was inspired by Penguin Books’ Penguicubator in London to set up these machines and promote local literature.

Only Singaporean titles are currently available through these vending machines, but they span many genres and are affordable. Leth also shared with Channel New Asia that sales are not the main goal; creating visual awareness is.

Meanwhile, BooksActually manager Renee Ting told The Jakarta Post“we believe it is important that people are aware of the thriving arts scene that is in Singapore. It's not comparable to big cities, but it's something.”

The vending machines are located at the National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Visitor Center on Orchard Road and the Goodman Arts Center, each of which offer prominent support for local arts and culture.

The concept of book vending machines is not new. In Japan, where there are vending machines for pretty much everything, automated book machines have been hugely successful. In the US, such vending machines have been used to combat the issue of 'book deserts'.

[Photo via The Jakarta Post]

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