Book printing on demand, good idea in a digital world?

  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What would we do with over 500,000 book titles at our fingertips? Wait, don't we already have that? The Espresso Book Machine has been launched today in London. The machine can print & bind any of 500K titles for you while you wait - in less than five minutes per book. The company boasts an end to book sellers and providers who claim a book is out of print or stock. The company hopes to offer over a million titles by the end of the summer. Do they really pose the threat to conglomerates like Amazon as they think they do? Is this a good step towards revitalizing the local bookstore, or is it a waste of time since we've already seen printed media usage enter a steep decline?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

While I do like to read on the internet, usually when learning a new subject I like to sit down on a couch and read. That is why I do still buy hard copy books, its also great for fast reference as I know the layout of the book once I have read it. The problem I see with the idea above, at least for me, is that when I buy a book I really enjoy going to book stores like Barnes & Noble and browsing through a bunch of books before deciding which ones to buy. With a device that you are talking about I think it would be more difficult to browse quickly through books, and for me I think it wouldn't work.

While this is still different, what you mentioned above reminded me of Kindle, which is a device sold by Amazon.com that lets you download any book to the device so that you can read it. The way Kindle is made is so that it read likes a book. The screen isn't like a monitor at all, its like reading text on paper I guess. Here is a video on it:

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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree with you on the displacement of brick-and-mortar stores. I go nearly every week or two to peruse the programming titles and see what's come in, but I rarely ever go with a specific book in mind.

I could take the time to browse the store's system and find anything interesting, but I don't find that to be efficient enough. Despite the companies' efforts, it's still just not quick or accurate enough to tell me what I can ascertain by holding a book and looking it over, at least IMHO.

As for the Kindle, I get the same feeling. If I have a choice between a PDF on my computer and a printed copy, I pick up the printed copy and read it. The kindle's no deal for me, whether it reads to me or not. :)
  • kc0tma
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There's always going to be the purists too who won't buy an out-of-print book that is freshly printed by the Espresso Book Machine too. Thats part of the fun of out-of-print books is finding one somewhere and seeing which all pages are dog eared and what kinds of notes past owners may have left.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've pretty much gotten away from book reading except for Tech reference and training books. Those I still prefer in printed version, although I have to admit that I've gotten quite used to the few that I have that have come on DVD.

I can't recall the last time I was in a book store or a library. I'm all in favor of saving trees, so to me, the fewer books actually printed, the better. I don't think I'd honestly mind if every book came in some form of electronic medium.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I avoid reading printed material whenever possible because it's harder to read than a screen.
I have to put twice as much effort into reading as most people to begin with, factor in stuff like a lack of search in printed materials and books start to seem like an overall bad format to me.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I found this just now, I thought it was kinda appropriate and it looks cool.

Image

I hate to admit it, but when I'm looking through a printed book or something sometimes I start thinking CLI and I want to use grep to find what I'm looking for. I spend waaaay too much time in front of a computer.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wouldn't it be ironic if that was a computer generated image ?
  • ajp76054
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think it would be a great idea for those titles that only a few look for that way over head cost of out of date books no longer an issue. Also it will force more competitive rates on books already printed.

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