Espresso Book Machines: Just What the Bookworm Ordered


espresso-book-machineWhile these days, newspapers are mostly online, some enterprising book stores are still managing to hang on. In a recent CITYLAB article, Eillie Anzilotti, writes: “An old shop in Paris is holding onto its place in the city by embracing new technology.” As strange as it sounds, that shop is a book store without books.

A new wave of book stores are banking on technology to keep them relevant; the so-called Espresso Book Machine is a print-on-demand device that lets buyers choose from potentially millions of books and sip coffee while waiting for their selection to be printed. The process takes minutes.

According to Anzilotti’s article, can On-Demand Printing Bolster Bookstores? The first Espresso Book Machine dates back to 2007, when one was installed in the New York Public Library. “Since then, the printers have cropped up in a handful of libraries and stores in cities throughout the world,” Anzilotti notes.

Book stores have been struggling to remain profitable over the last decade. Initially, big box book stores squeezed out many of the independents. Then it was competition from e-commerce. The latest fear is that people simply don’t read any more.

And, in fact, many book stores of note have failed despite adding coffee shops, stationery departments and e-readers to their offerings.

For those individuals who still enjoy reading on paper, the Espresso Book Machine may be just what the bookworm ordered. It’s a future-forward solution that enables book stores and libraries to stay relevant in a high-tech world. Readers rejoice!