Bibliophiles who can’t warm up to the idea of curling up with an e-reader or a laptop instead of a bona fide book may be heartened to hear that Google just took a significant step in the direction of making more book titles available on short notice — in the offline world. –KA

AP via fwdailynews.com:

Google Inc. is giving 2 million books in its digital library a chance to be reincarnated as paperbacks.

As part of a deal announced Thursday, 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 Amazon.com Inc. and Sony Inc.

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, potentially 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.

“This is a seminal event for us,” said Dane Neller, On Demand Books’ chief executive, as he oversaw a demonstration of the Espresso Book Machine Wednesday at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

[…] The books published by The Espresso Machine will have a recommended sales price of $8 per copy, although the final decision will be left to each retailer. New York-based On Demand Books will get a $1 of each sale with another buck going to Google, which says it will donate its commission to charities and other nonprofit causes.

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