There is a belief that the technological development is going to push a traditional book from use. These assumptions are legitimate; we no longer use stone tablets to write down our stories, nor papyrus, nor is anyone employed to write down a book using ink and a goose feather. Therefore, there is a high probability that future generations will only read ebooks, but we probably won’t live through the day when printed books will become extinct; we are way too attached to the feel, smell and the page turning of the book.
Either way, technology enabled us to print cheaper and faster than ever before. Therefore, we no longer need to print huge amounts of books which will take large amounts of space in storage rooms, bookstores, and libraries, which is way too expensive, and a majority of books never get sold or borrowed.
Instead of all that, there is something called print on demand. Instead of printing 1000 copies of a book, storing and distributing them, you can print a single book each time someone orders it.
To run a bookstore or a library, all you need is an average space, internet connection and an Espresso Book Machine.
Such a machine could give print and bind a book in 6 minutes and it costs around $200,000.
Imagine a situation in which a customer enters a bookstore, browses through a digital book catalog, picks a book and you print it for them. While the customer waits, you can serve them a cup of coffee and 6 minutes later your customer has a fresh book.
Imagine how useful this machine could be for schools and colleges. Teachers could make their own books, adopted to the needs of each child and print them whenever needed. They could change the content of the book without going through a dreadful process of publishing, printing, storing, distributing, and selling a large amount of books just to satisfy the norms of the publishers whose main interest is the return of their investments.
These machines are already in use. There are many online retailers who own these kinds of devices and connect millions of readers and authors; the authors send their book to a retailer, and the readers buy the books which are being delivered right to their doorstep. Magical!
All of that without a publisher and the stores who take most of the profit which should belong to authors because they put in the hard work of creating that book, while the publishers mostly invest money in old fashioned marketing methods, expensive book production and limited shelf space.
Thanks to print on demand, you can buy a paperback copy of Bloody Green on Amazon.
Once the production price of these machines gets lower and when the technology improves further, I’m sure that each educational institution and each town will have at least one of them.
One of my desires is to buy one of these machines and to run a bookstore/coffee shop in which bookworms could enjoy their favorite books and beverages.
Until then, take a look at this short video and see how books are being printed and binded.