2 Field Trips In 1 Day

Gosh I love field trips. I hated them as a teacher, but I love them as a graduate student! I think this publishing class I'm taking might be the best class I've taken as a university student, ever.
First we headed over to the University of Alberta Bookstore to talk to the director about their espresso printing machine. That machine is amazing! It's a book-on-demand printer, and can spit out a paperback in 5 minutes. Here's a photo, but the UofA has four printers, so extend it a little and you get the idea:
It'll do self-publishing, textbooks, course packs, family histories, out of print and scanned material (as long as the copyright is approved), all for like 2cents a page, with full colour glossy covers and everything! Saving for students on customized course materials are enormous, and these machines *might* revolutionize the publishing industry (if publishers ever caught on to a good thing besides profits). There's more info here. It was fascinating really, and he had very interesting things to say about the whole textbook industry (which I'm actually doing a term paper/presentation about, I'll post the powerpoint on slideshare this weekend). If you want to see the machine in action, take a trip to the UofA bookstore's basement and watch for a while. The staff are super nice too if you've any questions.
Next, we took the train downtown to Audreys Books, one of the few remaining independent booksellers in Edmonton. The owner also had interesting things to say about the book industry, and was very candid about her opinions. I'm definitely going to start shopping there - they're lovely people and the stock is fantastic. I'll say it again: STOP SHOPPING AT CHAPTERS/INDIGO/AMAZON! They're killing off the independent booksellers and are no good for publishers or authors either.