Recently I was talking with a student who mentioned an interest in opening a small book store organized around one of those Espresso Book Machines. I'd heard of the concept somewhere but had to file the conversation for later research anyway. During our chat, I shared my memories of wandering Archer City, Texas a few years back, touring the town where Larry McMurtry set about building his fantasy used bookstore one decaying building at a time (see NYT article). How cool I marveled, that the writer of The Last Picture Show (scroll to bottom of link) could transform some of his hometown into a stage-set of ideas.
I returned to the Espresso Book Machine yesterday, catching a reference to the all-you-could-possibly-want book printer in a New York Review of Books article that had been moldering in my "must read" file. In that piece, Jason Epstein provides an overview of the digital publishing revolution that might be interesting to younger readers if only they could imagine a time when everything worth seeing or hearing hadn't already been transformed into pixels. While virtually nothing in Epstein's essay can be called news, the author nonetheless does a pretty fair job of conveying the sweep of change affecting the written word.
Read for yourself: Publishing: The Revolutionary Future