20 April 09 | Chad W. Post

So right before leaving for the London Book Fair (and Free the Word! festival), I talked to a class at the University of Rochester about e-books, print on demand, and the digital future of publishing. Of course, during this discussion the Espresso Book Machine came up, and I made everyone watch this video, which we posted back when Three Percent was in its infancy.

Well, by complete coincidence, this past Thursday, Blackwell unveiled the Espresso Book Machine 2.0 at their Charing Cross Road store—which I just happened to be in yesterday.

According to the Webwire article about this event, the catalog for EBM 2.0 is greatly expanded:

It is the first bookshop installation of its kind within the UK, allowing any book to be selected from an inexhaustible network of titles and prints on demand in just 3 minutes from a digital file onsite, online at www.blackwell.co.uk, or uploaded in person from CDs or flash drives.

And, as you can see above, it’s still a beast of a machine, but not nearly the Frankenstein-like creature featured in the video we posted back in 2007. Nevertheless, my belief is still that looking toward the future e-books will end up being much more popular than this machine. The fact that you can download a book anywhere, without having to visit a specific location, is still a huge advantage. Especially after you feel the quality of the EBM production . . .

When I was talking to the media class, I claimed that print-on-demand production quality wasn’t that much different than your crappy trade paperback. Well, that’s not exactly true. The books they had on display at Blackwell were pretty cheap—poor cover stock, stiff paper, etc. The quality actually wasn’t that much different than the first p.o.d. titles from back in the late-90s. (When I was there, some guy came in and was asking the EBM operators about the crappy quality, so I’m not the only person who thinks this.)

And in case you can’t remember who’s behind the EBM and On Demand Books, you can find dozens of copies of his own book on display in front of the machine.


Comments are disabled for this article.
....
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 Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof
The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof by Cesar Aira
Reviewed by Will Eells

Aira continues to surprise and delight in his latest release from New Directions, which collects two novellas: the first, The Little Buddhist Monk, a fairly recent work from 2005, and The Proof, an earlier work from 1989. There are a. . .

Read More >

Agnes
Agnes by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Dorian Stuber

The narrator of Peter Stamm’s first novel, Agnes, originally published in 1998 and now available in the U.S. in an able translation by Michael Hofmann, is a young Swiss writer who has come to Chicago to research a book on. . .

Read More >

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