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It's not elegant and it's not sexy – it looks like a large… - Almost certainly not Johnny Depp.

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April 24th, 2009


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01:18 pm
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.

(21 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:onceupon
Date:April 24th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
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I feel a little turned on right now, honestly.
From:snakey
Date:April 24th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
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This. >_>
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From:torrain
Date:April 24th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
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Seconded.
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From:atlasimpure
Date:April 24th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
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Ditto.
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From:jagash
Date:April 24th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
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A little?
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From:onceupon
Date:April 24th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
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Well, one hates to be blatant.
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From:jerril
Date:April 24th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
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Eeee! Also this!
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From:jerril
Date:April 24th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
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... I wonder if I can take a company with one of these a PDF e-book and get them to print it nicely... DIE KINKOS DIE
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From:onceupon
Date:April 24th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
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Oh, that'd be AWESOME.
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From:dglenn
Date:April 24th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
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Me N+1.
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From:unknownpoltroon
Date:April 25th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
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_Do not_ attempt to get your naughty bits involved with the book machine.
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From:j_v_lynch
Date:April 24th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
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Hell Yeah!
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From:psyco_path
Date:April 24th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
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Win.

100% pure win.
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From:marlo
Date:April 24th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
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RAD!
I want to know how much the books cost.
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From:ladyfox7oaks
Date:April 24th, 2009 06:43 pm (UTC)
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SQUEEEEEEE!
(Deleted comment)
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From:opaqueplanet
Date:April 26th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
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no doubt. this is like movable type in its enormity. eeee!
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From:pyroofone
Date:April 24th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
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I want one. In Town. I have a few dozen tittles boiling along the top of my head that I've wanted to get my hands on for a while.
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From:mcpino
Date:April 24th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
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My tittles are boiling, too!
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From:kierthos
Date:April 24th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
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I first heard about the preliminary version of this a few years ago. It was neat then too.
From:sivi_volk
Date:April 24th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Ohmyyes.
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From:tyoko
Date:April 24th, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)
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Now all we need is someone to digitise the complete works of humanity, then put together a fair recompensation mechanism for authors, and place a machine like this in every bookshop and library, then we may finally end the age of the out-of-print book...

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