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Google launches books on demand service

Google has announced a deal to make its library of over a million digitised books available as paperbacks printed on demand in book shops and libraries...

Google has announced a deal to make its library of over a million digitised books available as paperbacks printed on demand in book shops and libraries around the world.

"Reading digital books can be an enjoyable experience, but we realise that there are times when readers want a physical copy of a book," said Brandon Badger, Google Books product manager in a blog posting.

The service has been enabled though a partnership with On Demand Books, which sells machines designed to print and bind books within minutes at a low cost.

The firm's Espresso Book Machine can print and bind about 1,450 pages a minute at a cost of less than 1p a page.

Books on Demand is able to access any of out-of-copyright books, including those in Google's controversial book-scanning project.

"In a matter of minutes you can get a paperback book identical to one you can get in a store at point of sale," On Demand Books chief executive and co-founder Dane Neller said.

Espresso Book Machines have been installed in book shops and libraries in more than a dozen locations in five countries, including the UK.

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