Posted by: Sally Ingraham | September 22, 2009

Espresso Book Machine

I found this piece of news through bookshelves of doom and it kind of blew my mind. I immediately thought of you, Richard – for the benefit of all of us you must go check out the ESPRESS BOOK MACHINE because it is coming to the Harvard Book Store on Sept. 29th!!

‘The Espresso Book Machine® is a twenty-first-century printing press that can produce library-quality, perfect bound paperback editions from a virtually limitless inventory of digital titles in multiple languages, including rare and out-of-print public domain titles.’

Sounds pretty wild – I can’t quite wrap my head around it. I’m pretty sure that I’m intrigued though! 🙂


  1. Whoa. I can’t quite wrap my head around it, either. I really want to see a book that the thing makes, and hold it in my hands! Guess I know one stop on next year’s trip to Boston/New Hampshire!

  2. WOW! That is . . . epic.

  3. Sarah, I checked this out the day after the debut, so here’s the scoop. The machine is actually a pretty crazy looking printer which will print files of public domains books and select other books from publishers on demand. If Google has your public domain work in its database, you call up the bookstore, give them an hour or so to get things together for you, and go pick up your printed and bound copy of the work (no matter the size) for $8.00. Pretty cool! Publishers who have made royalty arrangements with the store or Google (I forget which) will also let you arrange to pick up freshly-printed copies of select books for list price. Not a bad deal if the book you want is out of stock, I guess. I only looked at a few sample “publications” (one by Poe), but the lady who runs the service was very friendly and the turnaround time is awesome. Might be a great way to pick up interesting older titles for those with limited access to good libraries…and/or those of us who like to own! Cheers!

  4. Thanks for the update Richard! It sounds like a fascinating machine. I would have to see the books for myself, but I love the idea of getting out-of-print titles and whatnot, especially if a brand new book costs only $8. Seems incredible – although I still feel wary about some kind of a catch… 🙂

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