Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

A place to introduce yourself, and to meet other awesome people.

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by rxninja » 12 Sep 2011, 17:20

Hello, everyone. I'm Jake from Lansdale, Pennsylvania and I'm about to make my first book scanner.

I started scanning books last year when I started my PhD program. I got an iPad, wanting to make it my mobile workhorse for mobile internet, carrying textbooks, and all of the awesome stuff that iPads do, so I started scanning at the school library using their (admittedly really nice) flatbed scanner. However, it takes forever (5-8 hours per book of just sitting in the computer lab staring into space) and the quality isn't the best in the world. Also, it takes forever. Did I mention how agonizing it is to sit there for hours scanning textbooks? I'm actually giving myself a headache thinking about it now.

But I did it anyway, because I was resolved to use my iPad for textbooks. Less weight! Save trees! Save money (by borrowing books or using the ones from the library, which is perfectly legal so long as I have legal access to the library as a student. Technically I have to destroy these digital copies the moment I am no longer allowed to access the physical books in the library, but I digress)! Using the flatbed, Adobe software to make PDFs, and a combination of Briss and PDFSam (I'm on a Mac), I made awesome PDF versions of my textbooks and shared them with my few friends who have also gone digital.

Having a scanner in the library that gets the job done is one thing, but I'm 2 hours from campus and it's a pain in the ass to drive out there, scan books, and drive back. Scanning one book takes an entire day! It makes the beginning of semesters a nightmare. I need something better.

I was going to by a Plustek Opticbook scanner. You know, one of the nice ones with the really narrow bezel that scans almost all of the way into the spine? They seem pretty effective and $300 is a price I'd pay to have that power and convenience in my home.

However, I ran into major problems last night. The Opticbook is a series of scanners, including the 3600, 3600+, 3800, 4800, and A300. Only the 4800 and A300 support the sizes I need (A4 textbooks, aka larger than 8.5x11") and the 4800 is $800 while the A300 is about $2,000. To exacerbate things, only the 3600 has Mac support, which is total balls if you ask me. What's so hard about supporting an entire group of users with ALL of your products in a series if you're going to go through the trouble of doing it for one of those products?

After the Opticbook debacle, I started to feel desperate. Not only do I have to scan my own textbooks this semester, but I'm teaching a class and I decided to be the rebel professor who scans the students' readings, too (since it saves them all money and it allows me to use multiple textbooks and sources instead of being constrained to one). Viva la economica, right? Well, I searched and searched, looking for services, flatbeds, and v-shaped scanners of all varieties. I found the ION Audio Book Saver for $160, a lightweight, portable, V-shaped overhead scanner with Mac support, and thought I was saved. That's when I noticed "Coming Soon!" on the product page and "Ships in 1-4 months" on Amazon's page. I snapped.

"Fuck it!" I yelled in my head. "I'm building my own damn scanner!" DIYbookscanner.org is by far the most pervasive website for every DIY book scanning search I did, so I ended up here pretty quickly. I watched some of the videos of the devices in action, read some bits from the Wiki, and skimmed over some build threads before I decided that I wanted to go gung-ho into this. Go big or go home, right? I really like some of the metal and aluminum builds, particularly the collapsible and portable ones, but I think I'm going to start with the easier-to-make New "Standard Scanner." I've got my shopping list for Lowe's prepared, I ordered some SD cards, I'm trying to decided on some cheap cameras based on the SDM-supported list, and I emailed Frans van de Kamp about a trigger already, so I'm committed. It's time to forge my own solution to this bibliodebacle of mine.

To make things challenging, I've never built anything with wood, I don't own a circular saw (but do have access to one through my girlfriend's uncle), and I'm working in a (messy (from other craft projects)) single-bedroom apartment. I don't even own a power drill yet (though I do have a Dremel and a power drill is on my "Why don't you already have one of these?" shopping list).

Anyway, I'm Jake and that's my story. Let's get building, eh?


Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by itsme » 13 Sep 2011, 09:20

Hello to all, itsme! :)

Thank you for allow me to be a guest here.

I'm helping a friend who's dream is to have and use a bookscanner. He does medical research and he have a lot of books and magazines to scan. This way he can search for information in a digital librarie wich is much more accurate then looking by hand . He contacted me with the question if i could help him with the technical side of the DIY-bookscanner. This way i'm landed at this board.

Thank you for reading.

Oh yes and sorry for my English.


Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by Turtle91 » 13 Sep 2011, 09:49

Hi All,
I just retired from the Air Force. While I am waiting for that next career to get started, I thought i would tackle the "honey do" list that has been piling up for the last 20 years.

One of those items was to do something about the 2000+ books my wife and I have collected in our lives. They have been a real pain to move all over the country and they take up quite a bit of space on our walls!

I located some sites that already have SOME of my books in digital format, but I have found that I have to spend sooo much time cleaning up the html code associated with those books ( I am a little OCD when it comes to bloat and innefficiency...lol), that It would be faster to scan the books myself - plus all my books that AREN'T available on those sites....

Also, my wife went back to college - OMG, I don't remember having to carry that many books around all the time!! So she wants me to scan in her textbooks so she can just use her ipad or laptop.

I definitely appreciate all the help that people have provided here - I hope to contribute as much as I have received!



Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by piolenc » 28 Sep 2011, 03:56

My name is Marc. I am an American/French dual national living in the Philippines, and a confirmed packrat since my teens. When I move, most of the burden of moving is my files and books, so I have been eager for years to find practical ways to reduce that burden and to have room in my home for me and my family without books constantly intruding. I also make part of my living selling copies of rare technical documents, and as postage rates increase it has become ever more urgent to offer documents in digital form, for downloading, rather than expecting the customer to pay a fortune and wait a fortnight. I have a sheetfed scanner and a flatbed scanner, but I need something that can be used to quickly scan fragile books that I want to leave intact. I've been watching as prices of digital cameras have come down and resolution has gone up. Now I am seeing webcams building up to useful levels of resolution and will very likely base my project on those, first using the software enhancements to get sufficient resolution and later replacing the first generation webcams with some that have the necessary resolution in native mode.

User avatar
Posts: 2797
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
Country: United States

Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by daniel_reetz » 28 Sep 2011, 10:01

Very interesting, Marc, welcome! Are there any examples (either scans or descriptions) of these documents that you can share with us?


Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by lvl1_joe » 28 Sep 2011, 21:33

I guess this is the places to start. I am part of a hackerspace in Louisville KY. called LVL1. I have talked to others in my space that have wanted a book scanner over the past year and now seems like a good time to build one.

@daniel_reetz I thought I recognized you from the book scanning instructables at world Maker Faire meet and greet but failed to bring it up. oh well I am here now and it is time to build.


Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by rubypdf » 04 Oct 2011, 19:14

Hi All,
I am Steven Lee, from Shanghai, China, the owner of http://rubypdf.com and http://witwall.com, I am a developer.
I am familiar with PDF and email marketing, I never send bulk email for my websites or my software, PDF is my hobby, and email marketing tech and business is my job.


Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by shrewdaction » 29 Oct 2011, 20:44

Hello, all.
I am a South Korean and I encountered this DIY Book Scanning community while I was searching for a way to digitalizing my textbooks several months ago.
My personal reason of book scanning is that it makes more accessible to go through a slew of textbooks easily, because I have prepared for a big test.
The test requires the testees to read so many books. I have really wondered what's the source of the test items.
I surfed a lot on Google Books which was quite helpful to figure out the source of the items, but the view was limited and I needed to make the books accessible myself.
I experimented with my compact camera to scan my exam materials, but the outcome was quite disappointing.

Several days later, I saw Daniel's demonstration and discussion of his masterpiece at Harvard by a chance.
Recently, his new book scanner temped me a lot, so I decided to join this community.
Since I came across this community, I have really respected the founder of this site, Daniel Reetz, and thank for allowing his idea accessible to everyone,
also people who contribute their intelligent ideas to improve DIY Book Scanning.

This community is amazing and I am so pleased to join the community.


Re: Post something about yourself here (The Hello Thread)

Post by ZeroRequiem » 02 Nov 2011, 11:14

Hey Guys,

My name is Gary. I'm a full time college student with a double major in Chinese Studies/Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. I've always been heavily involved in all things tech. My dad is a computer programmer and has raised me with a strong sense of the importane of science, technology, and logic. Since I started my college career, I've been plagued (like all college students) by the expensive and exploitative textbook industry. For the most part my books haven't been too bad because of my particular major choices, however I am always in pursuit of a better way.

I slowly adapted myself to ebooks. For the longest time I was still a proponent for physical books since it doesn't strain my eyes as much to read. When the Kindle came out I began to rethink ebooks again, and then with Apple's iBooks app I decided now is the time to make the switch. Since I can highlight and annotate within the text and find it very easily through the table of contents, I was going to try purchase as many etextbooks as I could. However these etextbooks come with a catch; some of them are web based, while others are just as expensive as the physical book. Why digital data that costs virtually no money to distribute is as much as a physical book that costs money for the material, printing, binding, and distributing is beyond me. Thus, I began my search for a good book scanner. Within a few hours of research I arrived here. Over the last few days I've been reading through the beginners guide and looking at the projects and idea of the community. I have to say this is quite impressive. I am enthralled with the idea of digitizing all my physical texts and the ideas that this community have developed are brilliant. I can't wait to start building my first book scanner and with any luck helping the DIY book scanner community continue to innovate the way we interact with texts.



Post by garycdewitt » 06 Nov 2011, 07:39

Hello fellow hackers,

I stumbled across this while looking for a way to scan text books. GREAT STUFF!!

My back went out about 10 weeks ago and I can't carry my books. Being in law school, I have a ton of material to keep with me at all times.

I've got a crude rig with an A590 and a plywood cradle going. Its working great.

Thanks for everything

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