Espresso Book Machine to Print Books on Demand, No Lattes

The Espresso Book Machine—which actually is a self-contained 150 pages-per-minute printing and binding machine—can produce a full book in five minutes from a catalog of 400,000 references. It only takes one button.

With online book sales going up fast and electronic books taking off, publishing company Blackwell has decided to cut costs down and bring a huge back catalog with 400,000 volumes to the hands of readers. Or so they hope.

High-speed all-in-one printing-and-binding machines are not new, but this idea is. Using the Espresso Book Machine, any customer can walk in, pick any book from a touchscreen (or bring its own in CD or USB stick,) and walk away with a "real book" in five minutes. The price? Around $43 for a 300-page out-of-copyright book.

According to the company, this is the future of book distribution, allowing readers to get out-of-print volumes on the spot, rather than having to wait an online purchase to arrive or, worse, hunt them down in second-hand shops.

Obviously, Blackwell may be ignoring that little thing called Kindle. Fortunately for them—and unfortunately for trees everywhere—so are most readers worldwide. [Daily Mail]