The Espresso machine, currently on loan to the New York public library system where users can print free copies of about 200,000 public-domain books and a few others, costs about £25,000 to buy (and measures 8 by 5 feet), but its makers are in talks with several bookstores and libraries about leasing it -- and making it faster and smaller (4 by 5), about the size of a photocopier. According to a recent Bookseller, Matthew Crockatt, a London independent bookseller, would love one. "We are a small shop and having a self-service print-on-demand machine on site would mean we could potentially have every book in print...It's now just down to the publishers to come on board." Bill Samuel, vice-chairman of Foyle's bookshop, said "The hardware seems to be there. The software needs to be sorted. But there is a definite market...."
The future is on its way: slowly maybe, but it will arrive.