According to Anthony Grafton at the New Yorker, Google is in the process of passing yet another milestone in the digitizing and distribution of books:
Google announced [on Sept. 17th, 2009] that they would allow On Demand Books to produce paperback versions of two million out-of-copyright digitized texts on the Espresso Book Machine, which can print and bind a book in less than five minutes. For the recommended $8 a copy—the price of a paperback romance—readers will be able to buy anything from “Moby Dick” to “Dame Curtsey’s Book of Candy Making,” The Google-On Demand partnership could transform retail bookselling—especially of books for university courses.
Eight bucks, huh? I suppose they’ll also be capable of downloading to digital readers like the Kindle also. O brave new world, that hath such books in it!