Novel idea: Vending machine will swap unwanted gifts for books

© Bertrand Guay
If you’ve found yourself the recipient of yet another unwanted candle or toiletries set this Christmas, you now got a chance to trade them in for something much better via an innovative machine touring the German malls.

A German publisher has noticed that while it may well be a time for giving, people don’t necessarily give good gifts, so they’ve developed a rather useful system whereby you can trade in that unnecessary novelty cup and in return receive a newly released book.

Bastei Lübbe and book retailer Hugendubel have teamed up to create a vending machine which dispenses books when someone places their unwanted present in the machine, TheBookSeller.com reports.

The machine will be touring a number of busy shopping centers in Germany over three days, beginning in Munich on December 28, giving people a few days to consider whether they really do need that singing fish.

A total of seven titles from a number of bestselling authors will be dispensed, including books from Rebecca Gable, Ethan Cross, Sarah Lark and Diana Amft, with all the unwanted gifts donated to local charities after.

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"Books are simply the best gifts in the world, and the conversion machine is a wonderful way that [can be] emphasized again even after the holidays," Ricarda Witte-Masuhr, Bastei Lübbe’s marketing manager, told MotherNatureNetwork.com.