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Spotlight on France

Europe's first print on demand bookshop opens in Paris

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The Espresso Book Machine can print off a 100-page book in less than 5 minutes
The Espresso Book Machine can print off a 100-page book in less than 5 minutes Leon Neal/AFP

La Librairie des PUF opened this weekend in Paris's Latin Quarter, after a 17-year absence. It's returned with a unique concept: no stock on the shelves, but an Espresso Book Machine robot that can print off thousands of mainly academic titles in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee. 

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The PUF publishing house says it could revolutionise the book industry and shows digital technology can breathe new life into the printed book rather than kill it off, as so often feared.

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