The University Book Store celebrated its 110th anniversary this January with day of activities, book signings, and reminiscences from the many writers who have been affiliated with the bookstore during its long history in Seattle. The bookstore—one of the many unique and independent local businesses that color Seattle’s neighborhoods—serves not only as a textbook hub for nearby University of Washington’s 40,000 students, but also as a long-time anchor for the University District business core.
Bryan Pearce, CEO of University Book Store, recently met with Office of Economic Development Acting Director Steve Johnson to discuss the future of the iconic store. Pearce explained that the store hopes to attract even more customers this year with its new, on-demand book-publishing machine, the “Espresso Book Machine” (EBM).
The EBM downloads, prints, and binds quality paperback books—including any of the 2 million public domain titles available through Google Books, and over 1 million print-on-demand titles from local and international publishers—all while customers wait. The U-Bookstore EBM is one of only a handful of the machines available for public use in the U.S.
Pearce is excited about the technology and is already exploring how it can be used beyond his store. Pearce recently used the machine to manufacture 100 English to Creole dictionaries, formerly out of print, which he sent to Haiti to aid healthcare workers who were treating victims of the January earthquake.