French Bookstore Allows You to Print Your Own Books
Lifestyle| | By Lauren Boudreau
Imagine a bookstore with no books, but you can still walk out with the newest bestseller or literature classic. Sound strange? Well, it is, but it’s real, we assure you. La Librairie des Puf is the first of its kind and may represent the future of book stores. With the introduction of e-books in recent years, books have started to go the way of movies and music – instant downloads and all-digital. However, the Association of American Publishers reported that last year e-book sales were down 11.1 percent, while paperback books were up with 13.3 percent growth. Bookstores themselves also saw an increase in business (2.5 percent) for the first time in eight years.
Perhaps people just missed the smell and feel of traditional books? Whatever the reason, physical books are on the rise and La Librairie des Puf came up with the best way to combine traditional books with technology. Les Puf, as its called for short, actually opened in 1921 but had to close in 2006. Now, however, it’s back and ready for the modern age. The new store allows you to print your own books. Instead of having “ready-made” books lining shelves and stacked in the back, Les Puf offers shoppers a catalog of over three million titles and an additional 3,000 titles published by Les Puf on tablets where customers can pick the one they want and print the entire book, cover and all, right there in the shop. If you think that might take a while, it actually takes less time than ordering Starbucks – about five minutes – which is why it’s called Espresso Book Machine and takes PDFs of the books and prints them into bookstore-quality tomes. This process is also much more environmentally friendly and allows the store to not have to worry about spacing issues. Alexandre Gaudefroy, the store’s director, told the New York Times, “I don’t have to worry about space for the stock. We’re in a space which measures less than 80 meters squared, and I can offer readers as many titles as I want.” Could this be the bookstore of the future? It looks like Barnes and Noble may soon have some fierce competition.
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