Hamburger Automatenverlag Book Vending Machines

A German publisher commandeers automats in an effort to promote reading


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.