Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Books on demand (Espresso in the Square)

The Harvard Crimson reports on a new dimension to the book market in the age of the internet, books printed on demand (and delivered by bicycle:): Store Launches On-Demand Books

"Starting next week, customers at Harvard Book Store will be able to buy in minutes books that once would have taken weeks to find. The service comes courtesy of the Mass. Ave. retailer’s new printing machine, which will make it the first bookseller in the nation with the ability to print 3.6 million titles on demand. The Espresso Book Machine—produced by New York-based firm On Demand Books—has been rolled out to a select few stores to date, but the one at Harvard Book Store will be the first with access to the 2 million public-domain texts digitized by Google, which also announced a deal with On Demand last Thursday. "
"The Espresso Book Machine will be able to print a 300-page paperback book in four minutes, according to Gain, who added that printed books will be competitively priced and indistinguishable from those sitting on the shelves. Customers will be able to request a book to be printed online or in the store, after which they can either pick it up in-store within minutes or have the book delivered by bicycle either the same or next day. Books can also be shipped to domestic or overseas locations. "

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