Google takes books from digital back to paperbacks





MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (AP) -- 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, California, headquarters.

In the background, some of the books that Google spent the past five years scanning into a digital format were returning to their paper origins.



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