Personal Book Builder advice

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bryan jay | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 23 2011 9:50 AM

I've read a little bit on the forum about Personal Book Builder.  I know that at this point it is not certain when/if it will be available in L4.

But let's say in the future that I would like to scan some of my old paper books into electronic format for use with Personal Book Builder.  What advice does anyone have for the best way to scan those books now, for possible use with PBB in the future?

Bryan

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 10:02 AM

Obviously there's a lot we don't know, but my advice would be:

  • Get a decent scanner. I use Plustek OpticBook, which is the best budget scanner for books around (IMO!). It does great quality scans, and it's quick. I can consistently scan 5-6 pages a minute without difficulty.
  • Get decent OCR software. My preference is ABBY, because that does a much better job than Omnipage at deciphering text with multiple languages (which you need if there's Greek and Hebrew in your documents).
  • Save your Abby files into MS Word. Past experience suggest Logos will import from Word. But in case it doesn't, keep your native ABBY files as well, so you can save into a different format if you need to.

Scanning at 300dpi with the OpticBook and a clean original copy gives virtually 100% accuracy in English text my experience.

 

Posts 113
bryan jay | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 10:39 AM

Thanks, Mark.

That confirms what I was thinking.  I had the option of putting in PDF or Word, but when I actually went to do the scan I found that my scanner software does them both anyway, scanning into a searchable PDF and the reading the PDF file to OCR the contents into MS Word.

For those willing to shell out the bucks (around US$400), I would recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M for this type of work.  I had to buy the scanner for other reasons, but it just blazed through Ridderbos' 500 page tome on Pauline Theology.  It scans about 25 pages a minute, reading both sides of the page as it pulls it through.  The ScanSnap management software includes the Abby FineReader software which will put the pages into Word, fully editable.

Bryan

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Posts 453
Mike S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 11:47 AM

bryan jay:
... I would recommend the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M for this type of work.  ... it just blazed through Ridderbos' 500 page tome on Pauline Theology. 

Hi Bryan,

I have the same scanner, and I'm wondering, how did you.. ummm... "modify" the actual book to get it through you ScanSnap? Did you just rip off the binding? If so, how (without destroying pages)?

 

Posts 113
bryan jay | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 12:03 PM

Hi Mike,

Long answer:  Some background first... I am a missionary.  When I left Brazil some years ago, I had to leave much of my library that I had built up slowly over 10 years because it was just too expensive to move back to the US.  After leaving Brazil, I went to a country on the other side of the world that shall remain unnamed.  Let's just say taking a theological library into this country would not have been prudent.  After almost 2 years there, I was forced to leave and am currently waiting upon God for what is next in my ministry.

Through a generous gift from a supporter, I was able to purchase Logos and begin to rebuild my library, this time in a way that brings portability and confidentiality so that I can go places easily and discretely and still have a wealth of resources at my fingertips (thanks, Logos!)

What books I had been able to get out of Brazil have been stored in an attic.  Some of those I now have the electronic editions for and will be selling on eBay.  Others are not available on Logos, so I plan on scanning them into my computer and using them either as searchable PDFs, or through PBB (*hopeful*).  Personally, I handle the ethical implications of scanning copyrighted material by reminding myself that I own the print copy of the book.  I am unable to take this printed copy where I plan on living, so I have no qualms about converting it to electronic.  As you will see from my short answer below, the original print copy of the book is destroyed in the process, so I still end up with only one (in my thinking, legal) copy of the book.

Mike S.:
how did you.. ummm... "modify" the actual book to get it through you ScanSnap?

Short answer:  I cut the binding off the book and run the pages through ScanSnap.  Because the ScanSnap only has a document feeder, I see no other alternative if you want to use this scanner.  A flat bed scanner would give you the option of preserving the book.

options for cutting off the binder...

1.  On this first attempt today, I used an exacto knife... very laborious (basically a razor blade)

2.  I plan on going to our local print shop and asking them if they can put the books in their paper cutter and just slice off the binding.  If they are willing to do it for me, I know it will work.  I used to operate one of those cutters.

3.  Another option is to use a dremel tool.  I read about this online while making hollow books for my three sons.  It was a fun activity, and the instructions online suggested cutting through the books with a dremel tool.  I've seen them at Wal-Mart, but never used one.

4.  My wife read online about putting the book in a vise and using a hacksaw to just saw the binding off.  Some of the pages I fed through my ScanSnap today had ragged edges and it didn't affect the scanner at all.

Let me know if you discover any other tips.

Bryan

 

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Posts 248
Patrick Rietveld | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 1:01 PM

bryan jay:
it just blazed through Ridderbos' 500 page tome on Pauline Theology

It would be great if we could share these things, instead of everyone scanning everything!

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 1:05 PM

Yes, if you're willing to destroy your books, a sheet-fed scanner is a great way to go. I have access to a commerical copier/scanner which I use occasionally for books that have a removable binding. But if you're not willing to destroy (or even damage) your books, then the Plustek is a great alternative.

Posts 999
Mike Pettit | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 1:06 PM

Patrick Rietveld:

bryan jay:
it just blazed through Ridderbos' 500 page tome on Pauline Theology

It would be great if we could share these things, instead of everyone scanning everything!

This could be a copyright problem for more recent texts.

I agree that if you own the book it is OK, but sharing such a scan would not be.

 

Posts 20
Robert Holmes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 1:10 PM

Understand you doing this - have been a missionary myself and some places it is hard (and very expensive) to take in a comprehensive library that is needed, especially in a teaching position - bless you and keep up the good work.

 

Robert

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 3:52 PM

Mike Pettit:
I agree that if you own the book it is OK, but sharing such a scan would not be.

I suspect that you could share a scan with someone else who owns the book ... that's how we treated it in Graduate School.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 349
Frank Fenby | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 6:07 PM

Robert Holmes:
have been a missionary myself and some places it is hard (and very expensive) to take in a comprehensive library that is needed

Where I serve the students in the seminary are all bi-lingual (native language and English). We have made Logos a requirement for those looking for ministry positions. This way they have an indestructible library.Paper libraries will not last in the the local climate.

I am impatiently waiting for PBB so I can make local materials available to the students with all the capabilities a Logos produced title.

Posts 113
bryan jay | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 6:32 PM

I wonder if perhaps it is the copyright concerns that are keeping PBB on the back burner.  If so, I would challenge the folks at Logos to consider that there are some very valid applications of this capability, as you mentioned, Frank.

Let's get that PBB working... for the Kingdom!

B

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 23 2011 6:40 PM

bryan jay:
I wonder if perhaps it is the copyright concerns that are keeping PBB on the back burner.

Because of the functionality that has been processed and the infrastructure needed to implement the function, I suspect that Logos has been working on it for some time - it's slow coming because it's large and could do damage to resources if certain types of errors weren't caught.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 248
Patrick Rietveld | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 24 2011 12:32 AM

MJ. Smith:

Mike Pettit:
I agree that if you own the book it is OK, but sharing such a scan would not be.

I suspect that you could share a scan with someone else who owns the book ...

That was what I was thinking about. 

BTW, I think Ridderbos should be part of the Logos products anyhow (and the Dutch version as well)!

Posts 494
Greg Masone | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 24 2011 2:02 AM

I'll agree with Mark Barnes. If you don't want to destroy the book, the OpticBook Scanner is the way to go. I bought one about 4 years ago and have used it to scan in dozens of books. It produces a very clean page without distortion, making it easy for OCR software to "read" the page.

 

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