A machine called "Espresso" is set to revolutionize the way you buy books. According to a recent CNN Money feature, the On Demand Books company, has developed a vending machine that not only dispenses and sells books, but downloads, prints and binds them instantly, per consumer demand.
As a bibliophile and general book geek, I find this news thrilling. CNN touts Espresso as the next little thing of 2007, in a feature highlighting innovations from small businesses. Imagine a world where not one iota of time or brain cell is wasted because there will always be a book on hand to read while on the bus, waiting on line or any other mundane task. Forgot to bring a book to the beach? Just hit the Espresso machine.
Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? But as always, reality bites back. While reading this article, my inner eye visualized happy street corners near bus stops, or cafes, or local DMV offices, all containing a cool new Espresso machine. Instead, I read that the machines will be debuting in bookstores and libraries near you in 2007. Huh?
This makes no sense. Why would I need to go to a vending machine to buy a book while at a library or a colossal bookstore? Book lovers will happily roam the aisles of bookstores large or small in search of the perfect tome. The Espresso machines are much needed elsewhere: Waiting rooms, street corners, at park concession stands, passport offices and elsewhere across the nation.
Don't you agree?