Wired has a great feature on grad student Daniel Reetz $300 homebrew book-scanner (David linked to the Instructable for it in April
). The device uses a couple of digital cameras, some acrylic and some wood to scan a 400 page book in 20 minutes, converting the scans to text with free software.
DIY Book Scanners Turn Your Books Into Bytes
So over three days, and for about $300, he lashed together two lights, two Canon Powershot A590 cameras, a few pieces of acrylic and some chunks of wood to create a book scanner that's fast enough to scan a 400-page book in about 20 minutes. To use it, he simply loads in a book and presses a button, then turns the page and presses the button again. Each press of the button captures two pages, and when he's done, software on Reetz's computer converts the book into a PDF file. The Reetz DIY book scanner isn't automated-you still need to stand by it to turn the pages. But it's fast and inexpensive.
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