My dream scenario would be that you could go into a bookshop, examine copies of every book in print that they’re able to offer, then for a fee have them produce in a minute or two a beautiful finished copy in a dust jacket that you would pay for and take home. Book making machines exist and they’re remarkably sophisticated. You’d eliminate the waste and you’d get your book -– and it would be a real book. You might even have the option of buying a deluxe edition. You could have it printed with an extra nice binding, low acid paper.
Jason Epstein “father” of modern paperback books on future of reading:
Today it is widely assumed that digitized books and other texts will be read mainly on computer screens or on hand-held reading devices such as Palm Pilots or Gemstar readers. But a significant market for books read on screens has not yet emerged, and in my opinion this may never become the major mode of distribution for books on line. The more likely prospect, I believe, is that most digital files will be printed and bound on demand at point of sale by machines—now in prototype—which within minutes will inexpensively make single copies that are indistinguishable from books made in factories.