If scrolling through the 448 pages of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on your smartphone or computer screen isn’t quite your cup of tea, the folks at Harvard Book Store said Thursday that they’re printing hard copies of the document — and they plan on doing it “all night if we have to.”
“We’ve seen before that many readers prefer a print edition, to make notes, underline passages, bookmark pages,” Harvard Book Store owner Jeff Mayersohn said in a statement Thursday, hours after a redacted version of Mueller’s long-awaited document was made public.
The bookstore, nestled across from Harvard University’s campus in Harvard Square, shared photos and videos on Twitter Thursday afternoon of the book “hot off the press.”
In order to get paperback copies of the Mueller report on the shelves for the day of its release, Harvard Book Store is using an in-house tool called the Espresso Book Machine. The machine, which is named the “Paige M. Gutenborg,” is capable of firing off page after page of documents to create a paperback book within minutes, employees said. The shop has had the machine since 2009 and has used it to print other public documents like Barack and Michelle Obama’s farewell speeches.
“We’re thrilled that Harvard Book Store with Paige can start dispersing bound paperback copies of a newsworthy document within hours,” Mayersohn said.
The Mueller report, retailing for $18.95, is a sought-after publication. Although it’s not light reading — people spent hours Thursday scanning through the report once it was posted online — there’s a precedent for these types of official government investigations being made into books for the public. Examples include “The 9/11 Commission Report” in the Sept. 11 attacks, independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s investigation of former president Bill Clinton, and the Senate’s Watergate report into Richard Nixon’s presidency.
“Copies are selling as fast as they are printed, and demand for the highly anticipated report may create an order queue,” Harvard Book Store confirmed of the interest from customers.
Other commercial versions of the Mueller report are being published, but those are still on preorder on Amazon. Hard copies of those books probably won’t be available at Harvard Book Store for at least two weeks, the bookstore said. (A copy of the report with an introduction by the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is already climbing the Amazon charts.)
Mueller’s report contained almost two years of investigations into the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. While the report concluded Trump didn’t collaborate with the Russians, it left unresolved the question of whether he tried to obstruct justice as the investigation was ongoing.