On Demand Books is a company that manufacturers the instant-book-press Espresso Book Machine. They were just granted access to Google's library of public domain digital books for use with their product. Great! But what does that mean for the future of your home library?
With the acquisition of Google's extensive collection of public domain books, On Demand Books and their Espresso Book Machine is making huge strides to becoming the next big innovation in the way we live and read.
Have you ever been to a library or bookstore and found the obscure book you wanted wasn't available? If that library had an Espresso Book Machine and the title was in their digital library, you could grab an instant printout of the 300-page book you wanted in about 4 minutes, completely covered and bound. (Click through to CNET to see what the finished books look like!) When access to thousands of books is this easy, you might need to make more room in your home library!
There's benefits for more publishers to get on board, too. When the demand dictates exactly the supply, you're not wasting resources printing copies that will never see shelves. Plus, shipping costs virtually disappear when your product is digital.
The Espresso Book Machine isn't something you could put in your home (unless you're sitting on an extra $75,000 to $97,000), but it could be coming to a library nearby. Right now there are Espresso Book Machines in the United States at the Internet Archive Office in San Francisco, California; the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont; the New Orleans' Public Library in New Orleans, Louisiana; and The University of Michigan Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The list of machines around the world can be found here.
(Images: 1&2 from Flickr user sukisuki under license from Creative Commons, 3 from Flickr user CompletelyNovel.com under license from Creative Commons, 4 from Flickr user acme under license from Creative Commons.)