For an international airport serving a major city, Billy Bishop Airport is tiny - smaller than many regional US airports. That's why it has no food court, or much in the way of retail. It doesn't even have room for a newsstand.
It does, however, have room for book vending machine.
The Toronto Star and Quill and Quire report that the Literary Press Group has installed a book vending machine in the airport. Located on the departures level before security, the vending machine carries around 20 titles from Canada's independent press.
The project, which is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Book Fund, will mark the first time that the airport has sold books. The selection will rotate through around 30 titles from 6 indie presses, including Book*hug, Brindle & Glass, Inanna, Nightwood Editions, Playwrights Canada Press, and Stonehouse.
“While these books have many supporters, it is becoming increasingly difficult to discover them through traditional sales channels and marketing opportunities,” says Christen Thomas, LPG’s executive director. “We thought Billy Bishop was the best place to launch a book vending machine because there’s no real entertainment options on the flight,” noted Thomas. “We often see passengers reading the literature on the plane.”
The vending machine will remain until the end of the summer. After the Billy Bishop project wraps up on 31 August, the Literary Press Group plans to move the vending machine to a new location.