24 June 08 | Chad W. Post

The first is from The Guardian:

Blackwell’s is to become the first high-street bookseller in the UK to offer print-on-demand books while customers wait. The innovation will be delivered by an “Espresso Book Machine” (EBM), which can print and bind any one of a million titles.

Set to be piloted this autumn in a branch that is yet to be announced, the chain plans eventually to install EBM machines in all 60 of its shops across the UK. The machine can currently print about 40 pages per minute, but a newer model due later this year is expected to double that speed. [. . .]

[Blackwell CEO Vince] Gunn stressed that embracing print-on-demand did not imply that shops would run down their stocks of conventionally published books. “People come into shops like our Broad Street branch in Oxford because they love browsing. The EBM will simply add to the number of available titles available. We believe in a combination of ‘clicks and bricks’.”

It’s interesting that there are only 11 or so of the Espresso Book Machine’s in the U.S., but will soon be more than five times that amount in it the UK . . . And this idea of “click and bricks” is intriguing.

On the more electronic side of things, Joe Wikert just got a Kindle and has a pretty solid review of it. He does have good things to say about the design and functionality, but his criticisms are pretty damning, since they all revolve around content:

130,000 is a smaller number than you think. I’m referring to the number of Kindle edition books available on Amazon. As of right this minute there are 131,637 books available, and while many bestsellers are there, it’s amazing how many I want that aren’t. I’m looking for a great World War II book to read now that I’ve finished Citizen Soldier and World War II For Dummies. The selection is fairly limited and I can see where this will be a roll of the dice every time I go searching…at least until the number of available titles grows by a factor of 10.

Ditto for newspapers and magazines. I was thinking about returning to BusinessWeek via the Kindle but it’s not an option…yet. There are only 16 magazines and 19 newspapers available. Talk about tiny numbers… At about $1.50 per month for several magazines the price feels right, although I’ve seen plenty of customer complaints on Amazon regarding content that’s in the print magazine but not the Kindle edition. Amazon and their publishing partners need to fix this ASAP.

Why would I pay for newspapers/magazines? I’m wondering whether I can rig up an RSS feed option where the key newspapers and magazines are accessible via the Kindle’s browser instead…all for free. I’ll dig into it and see if I can come up with a viable solution.

The browser is as slow as advertised. I’ve heard complaints before and they’re legit. In Amazon’s defense, Kindle is an e-book reader first and the browser is just an experimental feature. As slow as it is I hope it doesn’t go away. It will do in a pinch but you wouldn’t want to depend on it for very long.

Comments are disabled for this article.
I Remember Nightfall
I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio
Reviewed by Talia Franks

I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio (trans. From the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas) is a bilingual poetry volume in four parts, consisting of the poems “The History of Violets,” “Magnolia,” “The War of the Orchards,” and “The Native. . .

Read More >

Joyce y las gallinas
Joyce y las gallinas by Anna Ballbona
Reviewed by Brendan Riley

This review was originally published as a report on the book at New Spanish Books, and has been reprinted here with permission of the reviewer. The book was originally published in the Catalan by Anagrama as Joyce i les. . .

Read More >

Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

Hello and greetings in the 2017 holiday season!

For those of you still looking for something to gift a friend or family member this winter season, or if you’re on the lookout for something to gift in the. . .

Read More >

The Size of the World
The Size of the World by Branko Anđić
Reviewed by Jaimie Lau

Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, and hope of three generations of Belgraders.

The first and last sentences of the first. . .

Read More >

Island of Point Nemo
Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Reviewed by Katherine Rucker

The Island of Point Nemo is a novel tour by plane, train, automobile, blimp, horse, and submarine through a world that I can only hope is what Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s psyche looks like, giant squids and all.

What. . .

Read More >

The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

Read More >

I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

Read More >

Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

Read More >

The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

Read More >

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only. . .

Read More >

The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >