The Espresso Book Machine has landed in London. Blackwell’s on Charing Cross Road has been fitted with the first of the £120,000 instant printing binding wonders in the UK and many dealers hope it’ll present a series challenge to online giants, Amazon.
The Espresso provides customers instant access to 500,000 books, which may even have gone out of print, and would otherwise take up over 23.6 miles of shelving, the equivalent of 50 book shops.
The machine prints 100 pages per minute and, according to one eye witness, “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”. The only tricky part is that some rare works cost up to 10p per page. Better hope they’re short.
Blackwells hopes to roll the Espresso out to all of its 60 shops as soon as they can.
(via Tech Radar)