Monday, January 27, 2014

Submission 1: The Crackerjack Book for Boys

It is my pleasure to present the first Biblio-Mat submission:

Book: The Crackerjack Book for Boys
Submitted by: Haze Kwok

Does it come with a popcorn prize?

The very talented Haze Kwok received The Crackerjack Book for Boys from the Biblio-Mat during the Biblio-Mat Fanatic Day and decided to do something artistic for it! Using the quote of “He glanced back at the swaying camel team” from the book, she decided to bring the scene to life with an ink drawing:

Who doesn't like camels?

As you may recall, one of the best books I’ve ever gotten from the Biblio-Mat was Camels!! so these animals have a dear place on this blog.

This blog started off as a crazy undertaking to read a book a week. Well, Haze’s project is even more ambitious – she’s doing a new drawing every day and documenting her progress on her tumblr. I’ve been following it since the beginning and it’s amazing how fast her talents are evolving. The progression from pencil sketching to ink has been mind-blowingly. Check it out!
Who doesn't like penguins??
Who doesn't like t-rex shopping??!

Hoping to have more submissions come in so send in your Biblio-Mat book pics to

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

OT3: Biblio-Mat Fanatic Party

It was a beautiful evening of laid back book and curiosity discussion paired with random cocktails. Many many random cocktails. Much thanks to everyone who made it out. Wish I had taken some more photos but my hands were constantly full of books and the aforementioned drinks. Nonetheless, the lovely Jolie Featherstone captured the night as the unofficial photographer:

The parents of the machine.

Handed a book and a drink before I even got my coat off.

The evening traffic worked out well with attendees coming in
and out in a steady stream, which gave us room to move around.

Like an offering to the random book gods, the 53 books (52+the one I made) were laid out in front of the Biblio-Mat for all to flip through and critique. 

Front and center
(actually more like towards the back in the corner)

The original idea was to serve tequila all night, but then Stephen brought up the idea of Biblio-Mat Cocktails – You drop a $2 donation and received a completely random cocktail. Jesse spent all of Saturday boning up on mixology to ensure no two cocktails were alike!
The wizard behind the curtain. Literally.

Had to take a shot at the machine of course.
Think I may have received the best book of the night.

Craig Small, the creator of the Biblio-Mat, hauled in a projector and displayed the blueprints, schematics, logistical animations, and other various behind the scenes looks at how the machine came to be from gestation of the idea to the actual building of the Biblio-Mat.

Beyond being read, books serve many purposes.

Late night picture show.

At the end of the night, Stephen and Craig surprised me with one of the most amazing gifts I’ve ever received – a plaque commemorating the blog project… made from the piece of metal cut out of the Biblio-Mat’s book slot. Yes, I now own a piece of the Biblio-Mat. Truly humbled by this.

Creator, proprietor, and guy who just likes to read.

A gorgeous work of art. Incredibly honoured.

Still stunned by this.

So the big announcement of the night regarding the future of the blog was that it will now be opened up for submissions. Read the details here.

Used so much it had to be refilled halfway through the night.
Submit your book!

A wonderful night with a wonderful creation.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A New Start

The Biblio-Mat Fanatic Party went well and there are pics to come as they get sorted.
The announcement concerning the future of this blog was revealed with every book from the Biblio-Mat last night: will be opening up for submissions from everyone! Hooray for crowd-sourcing!

What's this book? Wait and see!

The reason for this is two-fold:

If you’ve followed the blog you’d know that I’ve been reading a book a week from the Biblio-Mat. This resulted in me reading 52 books last year, which was amazing… except for the fact that I did not get around to reading any of the books on my 2013 to-read list. That list has grown significantly since I’ve been picking up non-Biblio-Mat books as well from TheMonkey’s Paw and contrary to popular belief, I do actually need sleep from time to time so there’s no way I can clear my backlog of books while keeping this book-a-week project going.

The other, more important, reason is that I’m simply too curious to see what other people have gotten from the machine. I go to TheMonkey’s Paw once a week and there have been so many times where I wished I had gotten to the Biblio-Mat five minutes sooner cause the person before me received a ridiculously fascinating book (I’m still choked about the time the guy ahead of me walked out with an old cartography book of 200 or so foldout maps documenting the lakes of Minnesota). If this happened just on my weekly visits, I can only imagine what other curiosities have come out of the machine the other 99% of the time I’m not there.

So it is with this hope of seeing more amazing books from the machine being shared that I invite you to send write-ups, reviews, works of art, and whatnot inspired by what you get from the Biblio-Mat.

Submissions can be sent to and there is also a short FAQ on submission guidelines.

Submission FAQ

So you got a book from the Biblio-Mat and it looks interesting? Submit an entry to this blog!

Can anyone submit?

Yes! I don’t discriminate (unless I don’t like you). Repeat submissions are welcomed. Do this enough and you might even get a ticket to come aboard the crazy train.

Do I have to write a review?

Nope! Send in anything you’d like. You can do a review like I have done in the past or do a mini-write up, whatever floats your boat. Heck, you don’t even need to read the thing - judging books by their covers is highly encouraged here. If it looks interesting, submit some pics. If it’s inspiring, submit a work of art influenced by it – photography projects, carvings, drawings, even needlepoint (good luck). It doesn’t even have to be physical – submit a song, a reading, or even some interpretive dance (I really hope someone sends in an interpretive dance). I’ll post anything that looks entertaining.

Does it have to be a Biblio-Mat book?

Of course! That’s the name of the game. However, once in a while I might entertain the idea of featuring a book someone found at The Monkey’s Paw, but it damn well better be a ridiculously fascinating book or have some crazy story behind it. If you want to plug a book related event, though, shoot me an email!

Will you publish everything submitted to you?

Oh dear god, no. Rule 34 alone makes this a bad idea. Posts will always be curated but if it’s at least somewhat coherent and doesn’t land me in too much trouble it’ll probably go up.

What do I need to send you?

- Your name/alias you want on your entry
- A website/email attached to your byline if you so wish
- A description of sorts - doesn't have to be an actual review! (Light editing for grammar and spelling will probably be done)
- Pictures! (They’re worth 1000 words. Probably more nowadays with inflation)
- Your consent to have it published here (Just kidding – it’s already assumed!)
- Whatever else you'd like to send me (Keep nudes tasteful, please)

That’s all there is to it. Send your submissions to