Writers hate being boxed in. But some Singaporean authors have found their works kept in a box and sold in an innovative yet familiar way – through vending machines. A truly novel way to sell a novel.
Two vending machines stocked with Singaporean literature were set up separately in the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Visitor Centre in Orchard last Friday (June 3). These machines were set up in the hopes of getting Singaporeans more interested in their local literature. Each machine stocks about 20 titles ranging from poetry to short stories and sketches, and can fit some 150 books.
The idea is the brainchild of local bookstore BooksActually. Its manager, Ms Renee Ting, 24, said it was inspired by Penguincubator, a 1937 book vending machine created by Penguin Books’ founder Allen Lane in London.
“Our aim is to bring awareness to local literature, especially now that there is a growing and thriving arts scene. We want to cater to the people who are not aware of Sing Lit,” said Ms Ting. She said that the team last checked the vending machines on Saturday – a day after they were launched and found that about 20 to 40 books have been sold.