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Howard Dean Bookless: Espresso to the Rescue

I love it when a plan comes together.

Which is to say, I love it when progressive and environmentalist forces converge to make us look good while promoting our values (but that doesn’t have the same ring to it). Last week, Dr. Howard Dean—former Governor of Vermont, former Chair of the DNC, and author of the new Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer—was set to appear on The Colbert Report (watch the video here). The only problem was, his book hadn’t been printed yet. Here’s where those environmentalist forces I mentioned come in.

Vermont’s own Northshire Bookstore just happened to have an Espresso Book Machine: a print-on-demand machine small enough to fit inside an independent bookstore that’s capable of printing a single copy of a book at a time—in about a minute. If these things are the future, then say goodbye to warehousing, shipping, and the environmentally-unfriendly practice of pulping unsold copies.

From the Times-Argus:

MANCHESTER – When former Vermont Gov. and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean was invited to talk about his new book on health care reform on Stephen Colbert’s television show, he had a small problem dealing with a visual medium: No book.

“Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer” had already been written by Dean, Faiz Shakir and Igor Volsky, but the book doesn’t go on sale until July 1 and White River Junction-based publisher Chelsea Green didn’t have a copy Dean could hold up on “The Colbert Report.”

Fortunately, Chelsea Green president and publisher Margo Baldwin knows Chris Morrow, owner of the Northshire Bookstore, and the independent book store in Manchester has an Espresso Book Machine.

The Northshire, the first bookstore to offer the machine, uses it to print books “on-demand.” The machine can print and bind books on an as-needed basis so that the store does not need to keep extra stock.

Morrow said it was a simple process to make up the copies that Dean took with him for his appearance on the popular Comedy Central show.

“They just had to e-mail us a couple of files,” he said.

Baldwin said when she saw the results on Colbert’s show, she was very pleased.

“I thought (the book) looked great. I was a little nervous because I had never seen one of the books printed by the Espresso machine, but it looked very high-quality and professional,” she said.

While Baldwin said it would have been nice to have the book ready in time for Dean’s appearance on television, she said the renewed national debate on health care, led by the efforts of President Barack Obama’s administration, would make the book relevant.

Read the whole article here.

Watch the Espresso Book Machine in action:


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