Home Forums Welcome Hello! Digitizing books

This topic contains 16 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of DoneByFriday DoneByFriday 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #158487
    Avatar of rw86347
    rw86347
    Member

    I am looking to move back to the USA. However my books weigh 33kg. I have already digitized all of my music and photos years ago. And have been digitizing childrens books for the past year. But what do I do about my technical books?

    A $50 technical books can be bought on Amazon for $35. But this grips me. I already paid of the book. Should I really have to pay money to remove the dead tree part of the book?!

    Here is what I have come up with so far…

    1) spend $500 on a nice scanner. Spend weeks cutting my expensive books apart, and hope all goes well.

    2) spend $600 on replacing my books for the Kindle.

    3) search in vein for a pirated copy (something I have a legal right to).

    4) spend $150 to ship the books to the USA.

  • #164495
    Avatar of Ildeth
    Ildeth
    Member

    Digitizing books

    If you do go down the road of digitizing your books manually, I would definitely recommend the ScanSnap. I have the S300 model, and though the more expensive models are probably quicker, I have been able to do entire books on the S300. You would also be able to take it with you to the States and use it for your household paperwork in the future if you wanted to.

    I think the important question is: what will you do with the books? If you use them as reference material and dip in and out of them, I would suggest digitizing them. I digitized my academic books so that I could quickly search for a specific topic across thousands of books and articles. If you tend to read them cover to cover, or if they have a narrative flow, then I would probably ship them to the USA.

    As for the exact method of digitizing, I personally don’t see a problem in downloading copies of the books provided you donate the originals to charity. You can’t ethically profit off of the books and retain a copy of the information (though I realise that others will have a different viewpoint on that).

    Even with the ScanSnap, digitizing books will take a considerable amount of time. I tend to do it in front of the telly, but even so it’s time that you could be doing other things, so make sure you factor that in to your decision.

    Good luck!

  • #164497
    Avatar of fileboxx
    fileboxx
    Member

    Digitizing books

    You could also look into a document scanning service, that way you do not have to be concerned about the significant amount of time scanning the book yourself would take, they charge by the page so it could cost less than a Kindle book, and you would not have to have your books unbounded in case you decide that want to take some of them with you back to the USA or donate them to a library/school/charity.

  • #164498
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Digitizing books

    If you scan the book, you end up with an IMAGE. Images aren’t reflowable (to fit different-size screens) or easily searchable. You can run the images through an OCR program, such as ABBYY Finereader, to turn the image into a text file. If you’ve got plain text, recently printed, sharp, clean type, the OCR will likely be 99.9 percent correct. However, you will run into the occasional scanno (“arid” for “and” and suchlike). It takes a lot of time and human effort to vet the OCR for correctness.

    If the text is full of figures, charts, equations, etc., it will take many many hours to correct the OCR. OCR programs don’t handle that material at all well.

    Pay the money to ship the books to the USA.

  • #164503
    Avatar of Ildeth
    Ildeth
    Member

    Digitizing books

    The ScanSnap automatically converts to PDF and uses ABBYY FineReader to do the OCR using a single button. It’s amazingly fast – it does all of that in the same amount of time that it takes to scan an A4 sheet of paper to a TIFF file on my flatbed scanner. And it does duplex scanning, so both sides of the book’s page get scanned in one go.

    Digitizing isn’t the best solution for everyone, I’ll certainly admit that. But the ScanSnap is designed specifically for this purpose, and it does a really good job at it!

  • #164513
    Avatar of Nina
    Nina
    Member

    Digitizing books

    I would ship them, but check before which ones you really need. I think going digital where possible is a good solution, but I just don’t think it’s worth the time to digitalize books.

  • #164514
    Avatar of Sophie
    Sophie
    Member

    Digitizing books

    I would ship the books. You’ve already paid for them, you enjoy them, and it sounds like you are not ready or willing to part with them. Then to avoid future problems I’d purchase any new ones as e books. Hope that helps:) By the way please don’t choose #1 and cut up your books, that sounds awful!!!!!

  • #164518
    Avatar of Mrs.Mack
    Mrs.Mack
    Member

    Digitizing books

    I agree with Nina and Sophie.

    If you really want to digitize them, sell the dead tree version every time you buy the digital version. That way you’ll (hopefully) break even. Or at least not be too much in the hole (remember, just because you paid $50 for a book originally doesn’t mean that’s what it will sell at now).

  • #164524
    Avatar of Another Deb
    Another Deb
    Member

    Digitizing books

    I had an online class recently and the text was digital. I had the worst time accessing it! Diagrams that covered two pages were hard to read, pages were sequential when I needed to flip back and forth easily, and charts and graphs were a pain to zoom in on and then zoom back out. I ended up ordering the print copy.

    You might try digitalizing one book and working from that for awhile. I can’t tell you the number of times I have digitalized magazine clippings or resources and then never accessed the files again, just because I didn’t want to root around in the files to pull the papers up or I totally forgot I had them. (On the other hand, I also forget that I have a reference text as well, or even two, since my husband and I have the same job!)

    Another idea is to cut away parts of your books that you never use to lighten the load. I always rip off the foreign language versions of owner’s manuals or take out ads from periodicals I keep. It adds up!

  • #164527
    Avatar of Periwinkle
    Periwinkle
    Member

    Digitizing books

    I would:

    a) Sort through the books (probably twice: go through, then a few days later, go through again) to make sure you’re not keeping anything you don’t actually want to keep.

    b) Check if you have books that are easily available online, such as those that are on Project Gutenberg. Then you can ditch all those; if they’re so easily available, then on the off-chance that you need them again, they will be there.

    c) Trash anything you’ll easily be able to get from a library. There’s no point shipping a bunch of Dan Brown paperbacks to the states when your local library and every charity shop within a fifty-mile radius will have them.

    d) See if you can get digital copies of books you already have. It might technically be illegal, but I reckon it’s okay if you already own the book and you’re donating your copy to charity or some such.

    e) Work out the per-book cost of shipping. If you will be able to get a new copy of a book for less than it costs to ship it, then dump it. There probably won’t be any in this pile but oh well. You could also think of it as ‘If someone paid me $X to get rid of this book/not to read it again, would I take them up on it?’

    f) Ship the remaining books.

    Essentially, I would be truly ruthless with what I chose to take with me so that I would only pay for those books I really did need to take.

  • #164572
    Avatar of rw86347
    rw86347
    Member

    Digitizing books

    Well I did it. I found that the Chinese postal service will ship books for $1.50 per pound. That was much cheaper than all of the other options. Lets just hope the arrive! They said I should expect it to take 2 months!

    However I am still temped into buying a scanner, maybe when I return to the USA.

  • #164607
    Avatar of vnangia
    vnangia
    Member

    Digitizing books

    I’m actually about to embark on this myself – one of my two resolutions this year is to dematerialize, and just yesterday I picked up an EPSON GT-S50 (over the Scansnap, because the Scansnap reads differently sized papers as a jam, a problem when you have APS prints to scan in).

    I plan to take apart a test magazine or two and see. Really glad I’m not the only one who wants to go down this route…

  • #164622
    Avatar of rw86347
    rw86347
    Member

    Digitizing books

    It would be s cool experiment to buy and old book for next to nothing and scan it. I would Love to see the results.

  • #164623
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Digitizing books

    Rw, if you want to see how that works, come check out Distributed Proofreaders <http://www.pgdp.net/&#062;. We take those old books and turn them into free ebooks.

    Usually, the older the book, the worse the OCR. The worst are OLD black-letter books; next worse are old books printed in teeny tiny type with worn letters on paper that is mottled and fly-specked with age.

  • #164627
    Avatar of LynnM
    LynnM
    Member

    Digitizing books

    Shipping the books looks like the most cost effective way to go and is what I would opt for as the 1st choice.

    An alternative would be to inventory and make a list of the books, keep and pay to ship any sentimental or rare books and sell the rest.

    When back in the states, re-purchase the books at second-hand bookstore or online reseller, or if you want to go digital, replace with the digital version as your budget can afford.

  • #164707

    Digitizing books

    To quote vnangia above, “Scansnap reads differently sized papers as a jam.” I have the ScanSnap S1500M and I don’t have that problem. I am currently scanning old memorabilia which is often irregularly sized. Additionally, I might stack say post cards of varying size. ScanSnap will suck them all in and vary the size of each image individually.

    ScanSnap comes with an OCR. Furthermore, it overlays the predicted words as invisible text “on top” of the image file. So you can search your documents but if it is wrong it wont ruin your ability to understand the document.

    My ScanSnap is a two-sided scanner so it is fast. In fact, The OCR takes more time and slows up the page feed. However, to use page-feed scanner on books that would require that I destroy binding. I am having emotional issues with that.

  • #164749
    Avatar of DoneByFriday
    DoneByFriday
    Member

    Digitizing books

    Destroying the book binding is sacrilege for many bibliophiles. I might recommend instead making and using a ‘Book Scanner’.

    Check out http://www.diybookscanner.org/

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