Symbiosis: (from the Greek: sym, "with;" and biosis, "living") commonly describes close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. It refers to "the living together of unlike organisms". . .
Since my dog Lucy's death a few years ago, I have developed a symbiotic relationship with Penny, my next-door Labrador. Her owners are too busy to walk her so I try to do so at least once a day.
In return, Penny climbs the fence into my yard every night at 2:00 AM and carries away the carcasses of whatever varmits my cat Bob has killed during the day. She's never told me what she does with the bodies, and I've never asked.
This morning I got up and approached my back door with trepidation. My fear was that, confronted with two dead animals, Penny had taken the mouse and left the rat for me to discard. I don't mind disposing of field mice, but I really dislike picking up rats. They're much bigger, much heavier and just yucky.
But, no, my wonderful symbiotic friend had made two trips and carried off both bodies. Today is going to be a good day, I can already tell.
While I was in St. Louis on Saturday, I told my new friends about the Espresso Book Machine. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you already know about it. I first blogged about the EBM on
June 24, 2007 here and again the next day here.
Serendipity is a wonderful thing. On Friday, the UK's Bookseller.com reported:
Blackwell is introducing an on-demand printer the Espresso Book Machine to its 60-store chain after signing an agreement with US owner On Demand Books.
The deal makes Blackwell the first UK retailer to install the EBM. The academic chain will trial the machine from this autumn at a yet-to-be-determined launch site, and will then roll it out across its stores. It is also looking at possible international retail sites and library supply for the machine.
. . . On Demand c.e.o. Dane Neller . . . said he expected that over time it would help to lower book prices, as it drove supply chain costs down: "But more importantly it means that no book will ever have to be out of print."
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, machines like the Espresso have the potential to save the bricks-and-mortar bookstore from going extinct. It provides print-on-demand technology to bookstores as well as offering the immediacy that permits a bookstore to compete with Amazon.com.
Read the entire Bookseller.com article here.