The first automated teller machine, or ATM, was installed in a New York bank in 1939. Now, similar devices are available for books.
Technology in publishing keeps changing. Once upon a time a publisher had to have a high print run in order to break even. That figure went down to a few thousand and is now lower than one hundred with the advent of print on demand. The idea of printing books as they are
required could save publishers money in the long run. When a book is revised they can bring a small print run back into the marketplace without having to lose money on old inventory.
Electronic books (eBooks) are also here to stay. Walk into most Borders bookstores in the USA, and you will see an ATM-like device where you can instantly purchase and download eBooks onto your Sony Reader. At present there are over 10,000 eBooks available for download and the number is certain to increase. The list of publishers already working with Sony to provide eBooks for the Sony Reader reads like a “who’s who” in the publishing world. The Reader holds up to 80 eBooks in its internal memory and hundreds more when you use additional memory sticks.
And if you like having instant access to a particular title but prefer reading a hard copy, then The Espresso Printing Machine is what you are looking for. The inauguration of the The Espresso Printing Machine took place on April 6, 2006, at the World Bank Infosession. Nonprofits such as the World Bank won’t have to stock much inventory of a particular title, but rather print the number of books needed on the spot. "Buying a book could soon be as easy as buying a pack of gum,” reports CCNMoney.com. “After several years in development, the Espresso - a $50,000 vending machine with a conceivably infinite library - is nearly consumer-ready and will debut in ten to 25 libraries and bookstores in 2007. The New York Public Library is scheduled to receive its machine in February."
[Update posted to the CCF website: You can watch a 5 minute video clip at the CCF site and see a book printed within 5 minutes].