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December 2012
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avocadovpx [userpic]
all I want for Christmas

One of these to scan all of my books currently in storage, a Nook to put the books on, and an Oompa Loompa to do that fiddly bit in between.

I think I could mock up something suitable for the lights and cameras, using boom or gooseneck microphone stands. The platen and the adjustable cradle, though -- not sure I understand them well enough yet, though.


Yeah, the state of the ebook would be quite different if I could just push a book through a slot in my computer, wait a bit and have a digital copy of the book on my computer.

I tried a mock up using my cellphone about a year ago. Its camera wasn't quite good enough to make it work so I never bothered building a light box. (That way, I wouldn't have unsightly shadows that confused the OCR.)

The other problem is that unless you're willing to pay a *lot* of money, these systems available are essentially manual. (e.g., you turn the pages yourself.) The use experience is probably something like photocopying a book.

(Note: there are flatbed scanners that can do multiple sheets of paper, but that requires you cut the binding off the book.)

After scanning a few books, I might get choosier, that is, either not scanning some books or only scanning a few pages I think I really want (indices, ToCs?). But I have been known to copy hard-to-find books that I had very limited access to (interlibrary loan from several states away). And there was that roleplaying supplement written by a now-deceased World Fantasy Award winner that I photocopied for a friend of his...

I might cut the spines off some of my old magazines and run them through a feed scanner, but the thought of doing that to books squicks me.

If you happen to come across one if those book-slot devices, buy a second one for me.

How long do you think we'll have to wait to see Google or someone else legitimately(?) selling e-access to their scanned library of, say, 1 million+ non-public-domain volumes? Sort of the Rhapsody subscription model, but for books. (I think Safari Books Online is already doing this for a specific niche.)

Isn't that the recently announced Google bookstore? From what I've read, there's an option to switch between the text and the scanned image. I guess that's not a subscription model though. A subscription model would require more intrusive DRM. (e.g., it'd have to delete all of those books from everywhere you have them, or the equivalent thereof, when you unsubscribe.)

The thought of cutting the binding off books squicks me too. People do it though.