One of the Kindle’s advantages is that one can order books on demand, and not need to worry about whether they are in stock in the bookstore. Here, to ensure that building your dead tree collection is not a thing of the past, comes the Espresso Book Machine (EBM). On Demand Books created the EBM to print books, well, on demand (betcha didn’t see that one coming).
The EBM will print 100 pages a minute from book files it stores electronically. When it’s done printing, it will bind the book just those you might find on a bookstore shelf. According to On Demand Books’ website, “The EBM is essentially an ATM for books that automatically prints, binds, and trims, on demand at point of sale, perfect-bound, library-quality paperback books. These books, which have full color covers, are indistinguishable from other books sold in bookstores.” Further, they claim that a 300-page book can be produced in four minutes, including binding. The Espresso also tracks all print jobs and remits royalty payments.
On Demand Books claims to have over two million public domain and in-copyright books. Right now, you can find EBMs in more than 15 locations worldwide. Too bad there isn’t one in Chicago, as I have to say I’m rather curious. Not that I’m giving up my Kindle, mind you.
What this makes me think of, though, is how a lot of people just like perusing bookstores, just as I used to enjoy perusing music stores, and we know how many of those are left.