As a long time eBook reader, one of the most aggravating aspects to digital book content has been a lack of availability for me. Yes, DRM implementations are a huge issue as well, but I can live with that. Not being able to find eBooks by my favorite authors has really been a thorn in my side, so I still have to purchase some books in paper format.
Putting aside legal issues surrounding book scanning for a moment, I haven’t seen an abundance of outstanding scanning hardware until now. Bob Russell has a supremely detailed review of the OpticBook 3600 Book Scanner over at MobileRead that might have changed my mind. I’m withholding judgment until I see Part 2 of Bob’s excellent review, but this device is made for paper book scanning and conversion to a digital format. I’m not certain of the output formats yet, i.e.: Word, Adobe, etc… so I’m curious to see what the output options are.
Here’s a snippet to explain why this device might be a very compelling solution: "This product’s "claim to fame" is the ability to scan all the way to the edge of the scanning area, which allows you to easily scan a flat book page without pressing the spine down hard onto the glass as with a typical flatbed scanner. It is described in the product description as "Plustek’s patent pending SEE™ (Shadow Elimination Element) Technology includes a specially designed edge and lamp. This revolutionary technology allows half of the book to lay completely flat on the glass with the binding against the corner edge."
Part 1 was a great read and I’m looking forward to Part 2!