[LINK] While-you-wait book printing

Stilgherrian stil at stilgherrian.com
Mon Apr 27 08:18:22 AEST 2009

On 26/04/2009, at 10:24 PM, Glen Turner wrote:
> I'm not sure why this is news in 2009 -- presumably if print-on- 
> demand was
> going to have a huge effect it would have happened by now.
> <http://www.powell-pressburger.org/Reviews/44_ACT/TheBook2.html>
> Maybe what's missing is a critical mass of content, and I notice that
> they're only talking about out-of-copyright material being available
> at the moment.

Maybe it's the social psychology (!) of shopping?

If I go to a physical bookshop, I'm usually in browse-and-forage mode,  
looking for something interesting to catch my eye. The aesthetic  
experience of browsing book covers is an important part of that. I  
can't get that experience flicking through an on-screen catalog -- at  
least not while *standing* at the kind of cheap screen these machines  
tend to have. Plus they smell funny.

Conversely, if I'm after a specific out-of-print book, or want a sit- 
down-on-screen browsing experience, I can do that at home. On the  
Internet. Using a buy-on-demand service like, oh, Amazon.

And all that said, I don't buy many books at all these days, because I  
find kazillions of fascinating essays and so on to read online. So  
maybe the answer is that I've already separated the story / article  
(the content) from the container  (the book, magazine or web page).


Stilgherrian http://stilgherrian.com/
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