Google to let users custom-print millions of digital books

Google is giving 2 million books in its digital library a chance to be reincarnated as paperbacks, reports the Associated Press. As part of a deal announced Sept. 17, Google is opening up part of its index to the maker of a high-speed publishing machine that can manufacture a paperback-bound book of about 300 pages in under five minutes. The new service is an acknowledgment by the internet search leader that not everyone wants their books served up on a computer or an electronic reader like those made by and Sony, and it will allow users to custom-print millions of books in the public domain. The "Espresso Book Machine" has been around for several years already, but it figures to become a hotter commodity now that it has access to so many books scanned from some of the world’s largest libraries. And On Demand Books, the Espresso’s maker, could get access to even more hard-to-find books if Google wins court approval of a class-action settlement giving it the right to sell out-of-print books. "It’s like things are coming full circle," Google spokeswoman Jennie Johnson said. "This will allow people to pick up the physical copy of a book even if there may be just one or two other copies in some library in this country, or maybe it’s not even available in this country at all."

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