This way to the Espresso Book Machine
by Enid R. Spitz
The World Cup Cafe inside Powell’s City of Books is notoriously full. Browsers with stacks of books and steaming hot espresso crowd into window seats along Burnside St.
Across the store and up stairs, in the Purple Room, an Espresso Book Machine serves up a different literary experience. The Machine, made by On Demand Books, requires a 10 foot by 15 foot area and an internet connection to print and bind books in a matter of minutes. As fast as espresso? Self-publishers or customers searching for an out-of-stock title can see their pages aggregating through the Machine’s translucent sides. The book is formatted, printed, collated, trimmed, and bound all in one machine before sliding down its delivery chute with a gratifying thud.
On a bustling Saturday at the City of Books, I met up with Forrest, who runs the Espresso Book Machine: