In the time it takes to brew a cappuccino, this machine can print off any book that is not in stock from a vast computer database.

The innovation, launched by book chain Blackwell yesterday, removes the need to order a hard-to-find novel, or the wait to buy one that has sold out.

Even out-of-print works can be printed off in minutes.

The Espresso Book Machine will also benefit aspiring novelists who can walk in to a shop with a CD of their work and have their book professionally printed in minutes.

The cost of buying a book will be generally the same as if it were in stock.

Currently there are 400,000 books ready to be be downloaded. Blackwell hopes that by summer, one million will be available.

It has bought one of the machines for its store on Charing Cross Road in Central London, but if it is a success then more could appear at shops across the country.

The machine, which resembles an industrial photocopier and printer, prints 105 pages a minute, or one book every five minutes or so.

Blackwell's aim is that the customer will be able to browse a catalogue in a kiosk next to the machine then press 'Make Book' and watch as their novel is created.

First the cover is run off, then the pages are printed and collated.

The pages are then clamped and glue applied to the spine. In the final stage, the pages are stuck to the cover before being trimmed to size from A4. The completed book then pops out of a slot in the side of the machine.

'With the Espresso Book Machine you can order it and have it in your hand within a few minutes. Having books printed on-demand also reduces the carbon footprint and cuts down on the number that are pulped or sent back.'

Out-of-copyright books will be sold at 10p a page, meaning a 300-page book would be £30, although Mr Hutchings hopes the cost will come down.

All other books will cost the same as if they were bought off the shelf.

A novel idea: The machine that can print off any book for you in minutes

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4 Responses
  1. Equalist Says:

    Nice article...
    Humans are always looking for ways to make their life easier and fun, as an example in this article...
    Great job sist...
    Good Luck and Wish all the best for you...

    PS: I'v added your link in my list.

  2. Dee Says:

    Oh, I just love this! I love books and one of my problems is not finding books that I want because they have run out or not in stock or out print; something like that. So, this absolutely solves that. I hope this is available in our country.:D

  3. Sera Melinda Says:

    same with me, Dee. I so love this machine. It's specially useful when you have PDF file, and to print it becomes so easy and fast. Hope we'll have it soon in Indonesia.

    Hi, welcome to my blog :)

  4. amiable amy Says:

    very nice and an excellent innovation too...i bet book lovers would love to own one of these

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