Saturday, September 19, 2009

Good News For the Super-Literate

How many times have you wanted an old book only to find that it's out-of-print? Worse, it's unavailable. Recently, say in the last fifteen years, it's been possible to buy some out-of-print books online. Now Google has announced more good news for you and your most literate friends and family. It's possible to buy out-of-print books at a growing number of bookstores around the world with the new $100,000 Espresso Book Machine or EBM from Google's Book Search and On Demand Books. It will print and bind "any one of the more than 2 million books old enough to fall out of copyright into the public domain."[Wired]

Espresso Book Machine (EBM)

Version 2.0

The newest Version 2.0 succeeds Version 1.5 at some locations.

The main beneficiary of this new method, apart from consumers, would be individual booksellers around the world that can compete with Amazon, now the biggest bookseller, and sell these books for $8.00 or less almost instantly. If getting into Harvard's Libraries isn't possible, a desired book can be obtained from the bookstore nearby after September 29, 2009.

Current locations include Ann Arbor & Grand Rapids, Michigan; Provo & Salt Lake City, Utah; Manchester & St. Johnsbury, Vermont; Lake Forest Park & Bellingham, WA; Columbia, MO; San Francisco, New Orleans, New York, Washington, Cambridge, Mass; in England: London and Canterbury; the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt; all over Canada: Edmonton, Hamilton, Waterloo, Montreal, Miramichi, New Brunswick; Melbourne, Australia. For full addresses, see this page at

"The company hopes to sell 60 more printers in the next year, bringing the number of machines globally to about 90.[]

Sounds like just the thing for the yacht, or even the country house.

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