by quisquilia

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Matadero, Madrid. Mar 2016.

Matadero, Madrid. Mar 2016.

Technicité et sentiment, synchronisme insécable.

Book vending machines – or book-o-mats – are, surprisingly enough, not a particular novelty, cooked up in the Machine Age, and yet they still offer ingenious ways of not only circumventing censorship – as supposedly already did Richard Carlile in Georgian England –, but also, in quite a dialectical fashion, of disrupting consumerism by providing the book as an everyday-article – free from auratic notions of literature – at most unexpected times and places and thus a respite from both modern day’s tenets of efficiency and (self-)optimisation and ubiquitous distraction. Reclam’s persistent success, for instance, as a staple of German literature (and its teaching) is owed to no small degree to its pioneering of automated bookstalls at hubs of public transport, at highly competitive prices. This idea was renewed in 2003 by Berlin’s independent publisher Sukultur with its carefully placed “book drops” for the quick fix in between, by now a series of more than 150 small booklets sufficient for a commute or the time in line in front of a club. As evidenced above, the idea of book disposals for a dime is still alive and kicking: subverting the very same conditions of automatisation and technocracy it uses to spread the beauty of imagination. La arrebatadora – fürs schöner Lesen!

– Quote: Le Corbusier. Thanks for your visit!