Sunday, Jan. 19
at the MONKEY'S PAW
1229 Dundas West, Toronto
In its brief lifetime, the Monkey's Paw Biblio-Mat
has attracted a remarkable variety of fans. But of all the thrill-seekers who've dropped a coin into the world's only antiquarian book randomizer, one particular enthusiast deserves special recognition.
Once a week for the entire year of 2013, Vincent Lui
purchased a Biblio-Mat book and read it (regardless of title, subject, or inordinate thickness) from cover to cover. Then, in an utterly gratuitous act of bibliographic passion, Vincent wrote a full review of each book, and published it (with photos of course) on his blog: therandombookmachine.com
. 52 weeks; 52 randomly-selected old books; 52 odd, and usually hilarious, reviews.
Now, in the dark hours of winter, the Monkey's Paw has decided to toast Vincent's achievement by declaring Sunday, January 19th as"Biblio-Mat Fanatic Day."
From 4 to 7 pm we'll be serving refreshments and sharing Biblio-Mat war stories in the shadow of the machine itself: consider it a cocktail party for bibliomaniac adrenaline junkies.
Vincent -- with all 52 of his Biblio-Mat books on display -- will discuss his epic undertaking, showing off the year's high points (inscrutable political propaganda from late-colonial India; vintage postcards of Rome's ruins) as well as its lowest ebb (a tedious memoir of pre-automotive travel on the Canadian prairies).
Also in attendance will be Craig Small
, the Biblio-Mat's designer and builder, who will talk about the machine's evolution, and show some impressive schematics and design sketches; and Monkey's Paw proprietor Stephen Fowler
, who will answer questions about the selection and acquisition of books for the machine, and gripe about the constant pressures of keeping the thing stocked.
At center stage, of course, will be the one and only Biblio-Mat, loaded with extra-special material: even older, weirder, and less-predictable than ever. Party attendees will also be the first to hear about the future of therandombookmachine
blog... and the tantalizing opportunity to match wits, and bibliographic luck, with mad Vincent himself.
The event is open to one and all... we hope to see you there!
Lovingly,-- The Monkey's Paw --
PS: For those customers who found the Biblio-Mat inoperable during the holiday season, we offer our sincerest apologies. After Xmas, Craig stopped by with his multi-bit screwdriver and fixed it in a jiffy... please come back again and give it a try!