Saturday, May 9, 2009
Espresso Book Machines
The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) was invented several years ago, but is just beginning to be used in a few stores and libraries. It's a big contraption like an ATM that can print and bind paperback books in a few minutes when money is inserted. It has many thousands of books no longer under copyright as well as new ones from publishing houses including John Wiley and Sons, McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan available.
Imagine what fun it will be for kids to watch their parents insert a credit card, hear the machinery working, and see a brand new book pop out in just a few minutes.
Lots of people are worried that e-books might make real hard copy ones become obsolete, but this machine will make that even less likely because publishers who use it won't have to pay storage fees for unsold copies and bookstores won't need shelf space for every book they sell.
The EBM is probably expensive so it may take a while to be available everywhere, but I think it will catch on soon.
You may have noticed on my website, www.janetanncollins.com, that I once mended a Gutenberg Bible. If Gutenberg were still alive, can you imagine how he'd react to the Espresso Book Machine?