Vending Wishes: Introducing You to Reading While Waiting

Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!

Ask yourself, what goods do you need everyday but is not readily accessible? Start from the morning you woke up, you’ll commute whether it’s by a car or bus, then you’ll perhaps buy coffee or breakfast on the way get to the office and work until lunch. On the way home, you’ll drop your laundry, buy some urgent groceries you forgot to buy at the weekend. The schedule seems busy, right? You barely have enough time for yourselves, not to mention endless distraction by your newest gadget.

But in reality we do have plenty of time daily, while waiting! We wait for the bus to arrive, we wait in the bus, we wait to pay for the groceries, we wait while waiting our food, we wait in line at starbucks. We wait everywhere while we are doing our main task everyday. If you are like most people I know, you’ll pick up your phone while waiting, and start opening mails, facebook, twitter, instagram, and endelss app available. Not because you have someone or something waiting for you to respond, but often because you are bored and don’t know what to do!

So I’m proposing a new idea, what about reading books? Did I hear you say it was boring? If it is, then you could stop reading this. But if you do like the idea of reading books in your waiting time, imagine how many knowledge, wisdom, not to mention lifehacks and personality improvement you’ll learn in your waiting time! As a medical student, i commute 30 minutes in the morning to university, 1.5 hours back to home at evening, and within the class, I usually got around 2 hours free time waiting for the teacher. That means I have about 4 hours, usually more, time waiting. And guess what did i do?

Yes, I read a lot, and I’m thankful that due to those books I learned and improved myself, my financial condition, build my self esteem, not to mention starting a blog. In 2013 I had read over 130 books, and since january this year I read over 80 books. Most of them are categorized as “self help” and some stock investment books. So if you like the idea, why not start to read in your waiting time?

To answer the prompt, I’ll love to see a machine to order book we want and get it delivered the next day in the same machine, that way we don’t have to go to bookstore and buying books would be much easier. I know there’s e-book now, but some people I know still prefer having the book in their hands. The machine could be placed at gas station, coffee shop, or even at the parking basement!



About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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11 Responses to Vending Wishes: Introducing You to Reading While Waiting

  1. alanewart says:

    Your post made me think that it would be great if we had a vending machine that allowed us to get back all the time we waste waiting for things 🙂

    • agent909 says:

      That would be great, think of the unproductive time we all have wasted. Even if multiplied with the lowest wage per hour, it would translate to billion of dollars! Would love to see your post, you could link it to mine if you want to.

      Anyway I sense there will still be more time we waste in the future 😉

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  7. This is a good article and an interesting concept! There are a few kinks to work out, but you’re right that spending the time reading would be profitable. I do sudoku puzzles, supposedly to sharpen my mind. I’ve also taken poem books along to read & memorize.

    Some points I think of:
    –These would need to be short articles rather than novel types, because there’s only so much you can read in a short time and you don’t want to be always losing the story line.
    –Printed to be tossable? Because carting books around is something we could do now, if we only remembered to do so.
    –Books selected from a computer file, Espresso printed? Or books stocked in the machine? Cost of binding the book is a big factor. If they were full size & already bound, you’d only have a choice of the selection offered, as in vending machines now.
    –Would you really want to be in a room full of waiters who have their noses totally in their own books? Or is it better for us to interact with others in the room?

    Have you ever seen the book Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers? Being a med student, you’d enjoy it. She has a great idea; each page containing a short memo from the single mom, a doctor, to her sixteen-year-old daughter, and vise versa, as posted on the fridge door, telling a very touching story. Quick and easy to read, well worth it. A book like that would work well in your system.

    • agent909 says:

      Wow, you do put a lot of thoughts into the idea and I really appreciate for your feedback! You are right about the short articles, and as growing human being I would love to read ‘how to’ articles about self help, relationship, love, marriage, and countless thing we could learn from other’s opinion or experience.

      While I prefer reading on my iPad mini, some people I knew prefer reading the real book, and often times they forgot they have something to read when it’s on electronic format. It would be nice if we could use environment friendly paper for the printing by the machine (according to our choice of article or book).

      I’m still thinking about the binding option, but what about just paperclip? If the papers are environmental friendly we could just toss it away if we had read it.

      Despite general preference for interacting with others, actually I do prefer having my book, you know, introvert thing. The first time I start to bring my book everywhere is because I don’t like the awkward waiting time doing nothing and people looking at me like I’m a freak, by reading book while waiting I don’t have such problem anymore.

      Thank you for your book recommendation, I am downloading the pdf and will start soon enough! It’s nice to know you!

      • Maybe I can give more thought to this because I recently formatted a book of poems and want to have it printed up. Therefore I’ve learned a few things about various bindings. Saddle stitch — two stales down the middle — is cheapest and will hold the thing together better than a paper clip would.

        I imagine, though, that e-books and smart phones will take over more and more. Especially in public places, such as you’re talking about. It’s nice to have a book, but easier to not have to carry it around and even risk losing it somewhere.

        I never go anywhere without something to read or do, because I know there will be waits and I like spending the time more profitably than watching soaps & talk shows on the ubiquitous TVs.

      • agent909 says:

        I see that you love poetry and brave enough to share it to the world, not many poets I know print their poems, not even for themselves. I wish you growing each day with your family and cats. Saddle stitch could work, but I think it would make the vending machine bigger due to the extra component. And I guess you are right as well about e-books, people will eventually adapt with technology including reading ebook instead of paperback. Just like my mother adapt with her new smartphones.

        It seems we do have similarities, just like you did, I always bring something to read everyday in my waiting time and I take it seriously. I love reading self improvement, psychology and economic books without actually have to do an exam afterward. Other than poetry, what do you read?

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