Located in the heart of Paris, the Librairie des Puf — also known as Les Puf — is a bookstore that prints books when you buy them, not before. You read that correctly. Les Puf doesn't keep books in stock. Instead, it prints titles as they are purchased, using an Espresso Book Machine from On Demand Books. The printing process takes roughly five minutes to complete.
The Espresso Book Machine streamlines the shopping experience for Les Puf's customers. You can browse the printer's collection, add a handwritten inscription, and finish your coffee while you wait for the machine to print your purchase from its .PDF stores.
Just what does Les Puf's printable book collection look like? The New York Times reports:
All 5,000 books published by Les Puf are available, as well as an additional three million books compiled by On Demand Books, including titles from 10 large American publishers and the public domain.
And those numbers are growing. Printing on-demand allows Les Puf to "stock" less popular and out-of-print titles without wasting money or precious shelf space. "[A] group of French publishers" have agreed to get in on the action, making their titles available on the Espresso Book Machine, and "[a]bout 2,000 out-of-print Puf titles will be made available to customers in the coming months."
Not too shabby for a bookstore with less than 80 square meters of floor space.
Visit On Demand Books to find an Espresso Book Machine near you.
Image: Eli Samuelu/Unsplash