Scanning Books: Yet Another Project Idea

While reading Boingboing today, I came across two consecutive posts that made me really itch to do something.

The first one was about a grad student who posted an instructable for building a $300 book scanner. The second is how the US Chamber of Commerce is trying to derail the rights of individuals to digitize their own copy of books, typically to an accessible format.

Does anyone in the Seattle area want to team up and build this? I think it would be a cool service to offer friends and family. Need a book in DAISY or e-book format for your Kindle? Just send it to us with return postage, and we will send it back together with a CD.

I don’t see this as strictly an accessibility issue. I am reading Another Country by James Baldwin now. I could not find a digital copy for it to read on my Kindle. Or more correctly, it exists, but I would need to live in Europe to purchase it. Isn’t that crazy?

So, who is up for this?

Scanning Books: Yet Another Project Idea

4 thoughts on “Scanning Books: Yet Another Project Idea

  1. If you’re trying to bring book scanning to the masses, check out the book liberator project at We’re bringing open source hardware and software together to produce easy-to-build and use machines from off-the-shelf parts with simple hand tools. DIY instructions are up, and we’ll have cheap kits soon too.

  2. Hey, that’s my friend Dan who built that thing. I’ve been meaning to get around to building one. Dan and I and brainstormed on book scanners a while ago, though he actually went out and built one, while I ended up acquiring a sheed-fed scanner, two 12×18 scanners, a platform-type planetary book scanner/camera, and an OpticBook.

    I’ve been thinking of building one of those — have you been to the new Metrix Create Space on Broadway? It would be a good place to build one, I think.

  3. Has this project gone anywhere over the past several years? Has an inexpensive book scanner been built yet? We scan books in a variety of ways and also outsource but haven’t purchased an automated book scanner yet.

  4. Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.|

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