Espresso Book Machine
After years in business, many traditional bookshops were forced to close up shop, surrendering to their online competitors. What are the few remaining suppose to do to keep their doors open? Blackwell, the flagship store of a 130-year-old book chain, may have found an answer. Tourists go to Hershey Park to see chocolate being made. So why not pay to see a book being made. Inside Blackwell is an apparatus called the Espresso Book Machine. It prints and binds books in a matter of minutes and thanks to the transparent Perspex walls you get to see it all happen.
The EBM was manufactured by On Demand Books. It’s purpose was to offer solutions to common retail problems such as increase inventory, supply out-of-print books and eliminate returns. All you need is a digital file of the book you want to print. However, will this device really help save bookstores?
Of course, there are drawbacks. Blackwell can only print out-of-copyright books and unsigned authors. Copyrighted works will have to wait to become available. Since it is a machine, it is prone to breakdowns. As of now, in London, there is only one machine available. In the future, there may be more to revolutionize the book market.
Do you think the Espresso Book Machine will save the printed book?