Actually reading ebooks on an ebook reader
Posted: 02 Oct 2009, 13:04
StevePoling started talking about what is necessary to get books onto an ebook reader for reading. I thought it deserved its own thread, so here it is:
StevePoling wrote:MY specific objective is to put my library onto my Kindle DX and SONY Reader (PRS-505). I also want to scan my aunt's Poling geneology book that's not in print anyplace.nalfonso wrote:First, you need to very clearly define your needs. To say that you need a book scanner is not enough. If you have browsed this forum enough, you will notice that the range of designs is wide and deep. Some people just need to have the images for viewing or reading, others need to have PDFs, and others need to convert to text using OCR, to name just a few. Also, by defining precisely what your needs and specific objectives are, the forum members will be in a position to contribute appropriate ideas and suggestions. But you must communicate your needs.
I'd like to know whether anyone has done any serious analysis of the requirements of electronic readers. Extrapolating from the scanned PDFs I've found on the web, I think that PDF files of scanned images (without OCR) will be:
1) fine if viewed on a laptop,
2) less than fine on the Kindle DX,
3) marginal (if usable at all) on the SONY Reader or the Kindle 1 or 2.
I think that readers with small screens (not the Kindle DX) will have to be OCRed to allow text to reflow on the smaller screen. Less a problem with larger displays. I've found my Sony and my Kindle do pretty good at ersatz large-print editions. But only on non-PDF formats.
I believe (and I'm looking for someone to confirm or deny this) that if you're looking to create a PDF of a book that's a trade paperback or smaller, it'll be usable on the Amazon DX. But a SONY Reader will require epub format. I don't know whether this is possible, but I suppose someone needing epub would do this:
1) scan the book
2) OCR the images
3) clean up text and put it into XHTML format
4) put XHTML into epub file.
With epub in hand, you could then use a program like Calibre to shift it into mobi format for the Kindle.
I haven't built a scanner. I did find this scanned book (http://ia311524.us.archive.org/1/items/ ... ucmf_6.pdf) and OCRed it using http://www.cometdocs.com, to create a MS Word document. Then it was a few evenings cleaning it up. And some more time turning the Word document into epub. A lot of labor in the post-scanning if you need more than a scanned-image PDF.