According to Jolie O’Dell’s post at Mashable.com, it is now possible to build and order custom (PDF or hard copy) books from Wikipedia. As O’Dell notes, ‘Because of the way Wikipedia’s images and copy are licensed, they’re free for anyone to access, use and share in this way.’
This new service comes courtesy of PediaPress, a publisher of wiki content. Book-creating tools are built into the left sidebar of the Wikipedia site. Once readers have built the book they want, they can immediately download a PDF version. Alternatively, those so inclined can order a hard copy edition of their custom publication. Cost depends on the page count of the new document, but paperbacks start at $8.90 US. Hardcovers will be available soon.
According to O’Dell:
Compared to other services that have attempted to tackle this problem, like e-readers, Wikipedia has the disadvantage of only offering non-fiction content and having content that can and does change periodically.
But PediaPress has two distinct advantages. First, content can be customized around any topic or topics the user desires. The ability to curate content is one of the hallmarks of the latest wave of digital creativity. Second, this medium is the absolute best for those who choose to spend time offline; you’ll never need a power adapter or an Internet connection to enjoy a book.
PediaPress is already up and running in 17 languages, serving 33 countries.