A new books print vending machine has been released which can print any book within minutes.
The Espresso Book Machine has access to 500,000 different books – the same as 23.6 miles of shelf space – and can churn out a fresh copy of Crime and Punishment in just nine minutes.
Pages are printed at a rate of over 100 per minute and are then pressed, glued and cut to produce a pristine book.
Users simply pick the book they would like on a screen and wait for it to be printed … it certainly is a novel way of getting a new book.
There are currently only three of the £70,000 books print vending machine from On Demand Books and Lightning Source, with one in Blackwell’s Charing Cross Road branch in London.
“We see the Espresso Book Machine as an innovative and exciting way for publishers to get their books out into the market,” said David Taylor, President of Lightning Source.
“There is clearly a place for the in-store print on demand model in the emerging landscape of globally distributed print.”
“Working with On Demand Books allows the many thousands of publishers with whom we already work the chance to get their books into this new distribution channel with minimal effort.”
Jason Epstein gave a series of lectures in 1999 about his experiences in publishing. Epstein mentioned in his speech that a future was possible in which customers would be able to print an out-of-stock title on the spot, if a book-printing machine could be made that would fit in a store.
Ultimately Epstein, together with Dane Neller, former President and CEO of Dean and Deluca, licensed Marsh’s invention and founded On Demand Books.
The first Espresso Book Machine was installed and demonstrated June 21, 2007, at the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library. For a month, the public was allowed to test the machine by printing free copies of public domain titles provided by the Open Content Alliance (OCA), a non-profit organization with a database of over 200,000 titles.