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I disagree with sentence one… I think this is sexy (not to mention I already discussed this in a post from March 13- https://novelwhore.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/the-book-business-from-a-veterans-perspective/:
Revolutionary Espresso Book Machine launches in London
Launching in London today, the Espresso Book Machine can print any of 500,000 titles while you wait
Allison Flood, Guardian UK (Friday, April 24, 2009)
It’s not elegant and it’s not sexy – it looks like a large photocopier – but the Espresso Book Machine is being billed as the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible. Launching today at Blackwell’s Charing Cross Road branch in London, the machine prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, while customers wait.
Signalling the end, says Blackwell, to the frustration of being told by a bookseller that a title is out of print, or not in stock, the Espresso offers access to almost half a million books, from a facsimile of Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript for Alice in Wonderland to Mrs Beeton’s Book of Needlework. Blackwell hopes to increase this to over a million titles by the end of the summer – the equivalent of 23.6 miles of shelf space, or over 50 bookshops rolled into one. The majority of these books are currently out-of-copyright works, but Blackwell is working with publishers throughout the UK to increase access to in-copyright writings, and says the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“This could change bookselling fundamentally,” said Blackwell chief executive Andrew Hutchings. “It’s giving the chance for smaller locations, independent booksellers, to have the opportunity to truly compete with big stock-holding shops and Amazon … I like to think of it as the revitalisation of the local bookshop industry. If you could walk into a local bookshop and have access to one million titles, that’s pretty compelling.”
From academics keen to purchase reproductions of rare manuscripts to wannabe novelists after a copy of their self-published novels, Blackwell believes the Espresso – a Time magazine “invention of the year” – can cater to a wide range of needs, and will be monitoring customer usage closely over the next few months as it looks to pin down pricing (likely to be around the level of traditional books) and demand. It then hopes to roll it out across its 60-store network, with its flagship Oxford branch likely to be an early recipient as well as a host of smaller, campus-based shops.
The brainchild of American publisher Jason Epstein, the Espresso was a star attraction at the London Book Fair this week, where it was on display to interested publishers. Hordes were present to watch it click and whirr into action, printing over 100 pages a minute, clamping them into place, then binding, guillotining and spitting out the (warm as toast) finished article. The quality of the paperback was beyond dispute: the text clear, unsmudged and justified, the paper thick, the jacket smart, if initially a little tacky to the touch.
Described as an “ATM for books” by its US proprietor On Demand Books, Espresso machines have already been established in the US, Canada and Australia, and in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, but the Charing Cross Road machine is the first to be set up in a UK bookstore. It cost Blackwell some $175,000, but the bookseller believes it will make this back in a year. “I do think this is going to change the book business,” said Phill Jamieson, Blackwell head of marketing. “It has the potential to be the biggest change since Gutenberg and we certainly hope it will be. And it’s not just for us – it gives the ability to small independent bookshops to compete with anybody.”
Original link to article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/apr/24/espresso-book-machine-launches
BetterWorldBooks.com is a company dedicated to”making the world a better place, one book at a time.”
As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, this is a company from which you can buy used books for as low as 5/$15, with free shipping! As a warning, many of the books are in rather rough condition and contain library markings, but still be proud to display them on your bookshelf since as much as 5-10% of proceeds go directly back to non-profit literacy foundations!
College students, they began as a textbook reseller, so check here for those expensive books as you may find them for $10!
CNN even did a video segment on the company, available here: http://tinyurl.com/dxmrkv
Not only is the publishing industry hurting in this lipstick economy (where a book is considered to be an unnecessary luxury), but Amazon is taking their e-book concept one step further – by joining with Apple for a new application where the Kindle is iPhone friendly.
Ok, I’m not stuck in the dark ages and abhor technology. I understand the concept of an e-book for updating a dated text (health care, law, etc.) and even for college students, to take away the weight necessary to carry textbooks around… But for the pure joy and pleasure of reading, how is a screen with text enjoyable?! Is it just me, or is there a special appreciation that comes from the symbolic appreciation of turning a page in a book, and eventually being able to close the cover. I anticipate I will be lugging around my bound novels for the rest of my life, and not pulling my “library” out of my purse and perusing my titles.
Amazon, don’t you think you’ve already taken enough away from the publishers by slashing prices and luring consumers away from the more tangible bookstore experience?! And consumers, the Kindle book is still at least $10 – go out and buy the book and have something to show and stand proud on your shelf, not to hide away in your iPhone!
I’ve always been a huge proponent of library-going (books are like a drug to me, and I can’t afford to keep myself in the “habit”, thus my worn library card) and have noticed my queue of books on hold have been taking longer to get to me than in the past. This interesting article “Hard economic times a boon for libraries” I came across on CNN this morning may explain why.
Yet another sign of our tough economic times is coming through in the resurgence of library popularity. I bet you may be just as tired of hearing about our dismal economy as I am, but I actually found this article to be focusing on a more positive note – that people are being resourceful and utilizing the tools and services available. I advise each of you to take a look at your local library and see what services they offer that can save you money – from internet to DVD rentals and even reading groups for children, all at no cost to you.
The full article can be found at this link: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/28/recession.libraries/index.html
Chicago Public Library information available here: http://www.chipublib.org/