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

Looking for paid assistance in scan project

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Looking for paid assistance in scan project

Post by evotech1 » 13 Aug 2011, 00:11

Hi, I am looking for paid assistance in a scan project. Long story short: I am very low vision due to glaucoma, have a 7000 volume library and have always been an avid reader. I found that my Nook with largest fonts works for me so I have not totally lost reading yet. Have bought several hundred old favorites from B&N in eReader format but the challennge is that many of my hardbacks I bought from 1970-99 are not available in electronic format and are not popular enough that they are ever likely to be. In fact, most of them are no longer available in any format, including print. Ouch.

Clearly I will lose access to the majority of my library but would like to get a small portion scanned so I can continue to access them via Nook. I'm looking for folks to hhelp me by scanning a small portion of my library to ereader format - maybe 100 or so - and needless to say for pay.... not looking for freebies. I'd do it myself but my fine vision for small things is about gone, which really bites.

Looking forward to hearing from youall

Thanks and regards
Herb Curlee


Re: Looking for paid assistance in scan project

Post by Tim » 15 Aug 2011, 09:29

Hi Herb, its not something I can help out with at the moment, but I hope you can find someone. If you can build the scanner, you might have some luck hiring a local student for peanuts to do the scanning. Or people do build and sell scanners on the forum here once in a while. Also just curious, does the nook at the largest font work well for you? Have you tried using any text to speech functionality? Does the nook have that btw? I use it on my iphone and it works pretty well. Its slower than reading, but I imagine it would be comparable or faster than reading at a very large font.


Re: Looking for paid assistance in scan project

Post by evotech1 » 15 Aug 2011, 22:44

Hi Tim

Thanks for the kind words. I'm actually thinking about just paying a student to work thru the project. My own background is 16-bit development back in 80's and 90's but I've been out of it a long time and have dinosaur level skills. Anyone remember Clipper Summer 87?

Re the Nook.... I find it does well for me, have both the Color and the original B/W, but haven't seen the newer model black/white yet. The machine itself has good readability and the B/W is the best thing I've found anywhere for daylight use. One issue I've found is that B&N frankly does not have the depth of available material that Amazon does, which isn't immediately obvious until you start looking for obscure stuff (and a lot of my stuff is really obscure, like Loren Eiseley's work from the 60's/70's).

Haven't tried text to speech yet.... my situation is that I still get around perfectly well but only get 20/400 in one eye. Sounds horrible but not that bad, considering the alternative, mostly means I can read from about 4 inches a bit. Not the best situation but far from the worst.

Still not clear on a number of scan aspects.... for instance, it sounds like many forum folks have <somewhat> automated the process <at least a bit>. Can't tell if I am misinterpreting this though. Is that correct?

How long does it typically take to scan/convert a hardback in good shape (say 300 pgss for example). No clue on that..... I would guess it varies widely but is there any general estimate that would make sense for that uestion? The reason I ask is that I have a financial model in mind for this project and can't tell if I'm all wet or not....

Is hardback scanning a destructive process (ie: require book deconstruction). From skimming the site I gather the answer is 'not necessarily', but again am unfamiliar with this entire topic.

Any/all info/pointers gratefullt accepted

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Re: Looking for paid assistance in scan project

Post by spamsickle » 17 Aug 2011, 21:37

You know what I would suggest as an alternative to scanning? Just get a camera, point it at a page, display the output on a monitor or on your TV, and zoom in until it's legible. That way, all 7000 books can be read whenever you have access to a display device. You won't be able to read your books on the train, but you also won't have to pick which handful to scan.

In general, no, scanning a hardback doesn't require destroying the book. If the only (or fastest) scanner you have is a sheet-feed scanner, you may choose to cut the back off to get some speed, but the standard designs here don't damage the book being scanned.


Re: Looking for paid assistance in scan project

Post by Tim » 19 Aug 2011, 14:55

Hi Herb,

Spamsickle's idea is pretty interesting. That's basically making a quick and dirty CCTV system. Systems built for the purpose usually have contrast and color enhancement built in but are very expensive because they are built for the specific purpose and get bought with insurance or other moneys that specify they have to be single purpose items to qualify.

If you build one of the scanner builds from this site like the new standard, it is definitely a non destructive process. Thats the benefit of all the do it yourself builds on this site as compared to cutting the binding and sending it through a sheetfeed scanner. If you could cut all the bindings that is a faster process, and you can even get books that aren't printed too close to the binding rebound. Fedex office (Kinkos) cuts bindings for a few dollars a book. They can scan too, or you could buy a sheetfeed scanner like a scansnap.

If you build your own or have it built, depending on how far you go with the build, the scan process can be pretty automated, with switches to fire the camera shutter, etc. The software, either Scantailor or Book Scan Wizard is getting pretty good at automating the process of taking the images and assembling them into an ebook in various formats. I think BSW does the assembling, but Scantailor just does the processing and you need other assembling software.

As for time I haven't done one recently all the way through to time it. The software is improving so the time is going down. It also depends a lot on how much post-processing you want to do, what types of books you are working with, and what quality of output you want. Books with images are much harder and more labor intensive to process, especially if you want to save the images. The scanning part doesn't take as long. With a well build scanner build like the new standard, you can scan 1000 or more pages an hour easily so a 300-400 page book doesn't take long. If it's all text, you could probably process it in a half hour and be done in an hour total, maybe less. If it's got a lot of images or diagrams it could take a couple hours to process.

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E-book readers owned: Kindle, windows tablet
Number of books owned: 20
Country: Australia

Re: Looking for paid assistance in scan project

Post by CaptOn » 20 Jan 2013, 00:17

I used to work in a data capture company with a vision impaired man & he used a system Similar to what spamsickle described.

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