A novel idea

I had a wonderful weekend visiting a friend in Ireland. We went to Limerick and Killarney, walked around a beautiful lake and visited country houses and castles. At the University of Limerick the student canteen featured this amazing vending machine that does not sell Bounties or Balistos, but books:

The machine has a small display that shows the blurb of the book you select. The only thing missing is the possibility to browse inside the book, something I always like to do before buying. I selected Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch, inserted the proper amount of euros, and the book dropped down with a loud thud. It was enclosed in a very neat cardboard box, with a pop-out handle for carrying and a complimentary bookmark.

The Novel Idea vending machine was an idea by Paul O’Carroll and John Costello from Limerick. Their machines are in various universities, hospitals, hotels, stations and airports in Ireland, and can now also be found at Heathrow and Gatwick. I think they should be in the Netherlands as well!

The modern reading machine was certainly not the only attraction in Ireland. This is a photo of Ross Castle, in Killarney National Park:

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