Digitizing your non-Logos/Verbum Books with Personal Books

Page 1 of 2 (23 items) 1 2 Next >
This post has 22 Replies | 2 Followers

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Aug 1 2016 1:25 PM

Hello, I thought I would share my journey of digitizing my personal library (books that are not yet available for purchase on Logos/Verbum/Noet).

I have quite a collection of books and being a computer guy, and needing the shelf space, I saw the ability to use the "Personal Books" feature in Verbum/Logos as a great invitation to add not just my own writings, but digitize the rest of my library.

The benefits to me outweighed the risks:

  • I would have a searchable, linked library that would have all my books in it for easy access when I do research.
  • I would be able to clear quite a bit of space from my bookshelves.
  • Next time I move, I won't have a ton of boxes of books.
  • Since I am going back to school to finish off a degree, I wanted to make sure my personal theological library was included in Verbum/Logos so that it would be easily accessible for my research and paper writing that is to come!

I knew from the start that this would be a time consuming process that would involve some expense.  However, I figured the "investment" would be worth it.

These are the steps I took and the resources I used that you might find helpful.

  1. First I looked for books that I had that I could buy from Verbum/Logos directly (even though this would be more expensive then the method used below for the rest of my library, I knew that these books would have all the correct formatting, be fully tagged, etc. so I opted for those books as a "primary way" to have my library digitized.
  2. I had to find a place to scan in my books at a price that wouldn't be terribly expensive.  After much research, I ended up going with 1DollarScan (http://1dollarscan.com), and I couldn't have been happier!  They are a great company that is quick to respond to questions and does an excellent job.  I ended up getting their Platinum Membership that allows 100 sets/month for $99 (a set =100 pages, so a 187 page book would count as 2 sets, while a 215 page book counts as 3 sets).  This allowed me the time to convert to Word format/etc. with my monthly set and get that done before sending in the next month's batch.
  3. While I have Adobe Professional, I wanted to invest in a better OCR Program (OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition - in other words, a Program that would read/recognize the "text" of the PDF) that specialized in what I was doing - afterall, it was a pretty massive project. I also needed it to convert the PDF into Microsoft Word so I could import it into Verbum/Logos.  After much research, I bought and Downloaded ABBYY Finereader 12 Professional (https://www.abbyy.com/finereader/professional/) it retails for $169.99 but, at the time of this writing you can get 15% back if you use eBates (http://www.ebates.com) it is free to join and saves some cash on this project.  ABBYY Finereader is an excellent software - especially for this sort of project.  It was able to do a thorough OCR of the different books, define tables, pictures, text.  I was able to not include the page numbers/headers automatically (as those would not line up in the Word export).  It has a built in Microsoft Word export, and upon exporting, it automatically took away the hyphenated words that went on to other pages and joined those words!  Of course, no OCR is 100% accurate, but it does a great job!
  4. Once I downloaded the PDF Files from 1DollarScan, I opened them in Finereader, allowed it to do its OCR, exported to Word.   Then I opened up the file in Word, and resaved it unchecking the "Maintain Compatibility" box so that the *.docx file was optimized for Verbum/Logos import.
  5. Finally, I found a copy of the bookcover online and saved it (or scanned in the book cover or saved from the PDF).  I filled out my Personal Book info and published and uploaded the book - now a book from my personal library has been loaded into Verbum/Logos!
  6. Repeated Steps 4 & 5 a few hundred times for each of my books Geeked

A couple things to note if you are going to do this:

  1. 1DollarScan cuts the bindings, scans the book, then recycles your books so you won't get a hard copy back.  For special books or books that are very valuable, I recommend scanning them in a page at a time via a scanner or photocopy machine or see if you can find a cheap, used copy of the same book on Amazon or ebay and scan that in - I did that for a few of the books that I wanted to keep.
  2. I originally feared that the 25MB file limit for individual personal books would be an issue - luckily I have not run into that issue yet.  Most Word Document files are fairly small - even books that had a lot of images.  Still, it would be nice if that limitation didn't exist, just to give a peace of mind.
  3. The final "phase" of my project will be adding all of these books to different "Collections" based on topic or resource type.  This will be another big task as I have quite a large Verbum library, but again, will make things a lot easier down the road when it comes to research.
  4. I have a file of all my PDFs and Word Documents that I am saving for a couple reasons.
    1. If/When I use one of these sources in research, I need to cite the actual page number/etc.  This will allow me to go back to the PDF to find it easily.
    2. The Word Files I hope to fine-tune for some of the books I use a lot - for some reason, some of my books import with smaller text/etc. into the software.  As I get better on understanding the Personal Books System and Features and as it improves, I might rebuild the book from these files that I update.
    3. If (God forbid) something happens where Verbum/Logos no longer exists, at least I still have my books in a digital format and they are ready to be imported into another program.

I do wish that the personal books would sync to our tablets/smart phones, but at least they do sync across computers so I can work on this project on one computer and have my library on all of them.

Is it worth it?

In my opinion, yes!  I have already found a great passage on Augustine from one of my personal books that I would have never thought to check (or remembered that I had) if the book was still sitting on my shelf.

I hope this helps some of you out there, I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on this process as I am about to send in another batch to 1DollarScan and start this process again for about 200 or so books!

Posts 316
Bruce Roth | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 1 2016 4:09 PM

This is a timely post as I was thinking through this process yesterday and today.  I was researching 1dollarscan and was trying to figure out if it was worth it.  I assumed the best bang for the buck is the plan you are on. 

A couple of questions:

Did you find many books that caused you to span the set count with just a few pages for a given month?  I assume that they use the number of pages that the publisher sets.  For example one could be tempted to tear out a few pages if the count was just over a hundred value.

Did you have any books that had markings in it like underlines and such that messed up the OCR?

I was playing around with my sheet fed scanner to see if I could do this myself.  I have OmniPage from awhile back.  Somewhere on the web someone mentioned that FedEx (Kinkos) would be able to cut the binding on books for less than a dollar.  It would be a slow process as I can only do 20 pages at a time in the scanner.

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 1 2016 4:29 PM

Glad you found my post helpful! 

To answer your questions:

  1. I did have a few here and there that were just over the page set count, but not enough where I felt that I was overpaying for the scanning (considering they do scan in color where there is color/etc and can even scan fold out pages). Most of my pages were far enough into the set where it seemed like a good price or right up to the set count (like page 96) that I really felt like I maximized my count.  There were a couple of books that I did tear a few pages out (that had ads/etc in the back and I didn't want to pay for a set, there were other books that I had that had a middle section of images/illustrations that weren't marked by page numbers and they didn't count those against me - it is a great company!
  2. i did have books with some minimal markings and a lot of highlights that the FineReader program handled well. On a couple of occasions, I had to just edit the Word document a bit to make sure the right text was there.  I had a couple of books that were heavily marked, that I knew wouldn't scan well, so I found used cheap copies on eBay and Amazon and used those. 
  3. I also thought of having Fedex Office cut my books and scan them (I have a Neat Desktop scanner). The Fedex Offices by me charge $2/cut, which would pretty much be $2/book so by the time you factor that in, plus the time scanning in small batches, it just wasn't worth the cost for me (I am digitizing roughly 300 books).  Still, there were some books and booklets I had that were spiral bound so i undid the binding myself and scanned those in individually.  I also have some rare books and books I didn't want to part with, and I was able to scan those in myself on a copy machine without destroying the binding/book. 

I hope hope this helps!

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 1 2016 4:38 PM

Also, I am not sure if this applies for new customers, but 1dollarscan is running a promotion (which is why I am about to send in a new batch).  This would be a better deal than the Platinum membership - especially if you are using FineReader or omnipage and don't need the OCR or book titles (those can easily be added by hand and save some cash). You might want to contact them and ask them if it applies for new customers - but here are the details:


We will hold a “Buy one order, Get another order FREE!!” Campaign from
5th August 2016 to 31st August 2016 to celebrate our 5 year anniversary!!

Place any book order, then get a FREE Coupon for a matching number of sets!!
In additional, we will add on OCR and Book Title Options for FREE to your
second matching set!
http://1dollarscan.com/pricing.php

Our coupon will match the number of sets in your order up to 100 sets.
For example, if you order 10 sets with the OCR option for $20, then you will
receive a coupon for an additional 10 sets with OCR and Book Title Options
for FREE!! 
That would be a $30 VALUE!! Order more and save more.

Posts 316
Bruce Roth | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 1:00 PM

Chris K:

Also, I am not sure if this applies for new customers, but 1dollarscan is running a promotion (which is why I am about to send in a new batch).  This would be a better deal than the Platinum membership - especially if you are using FineReader or omnipage and don't need the OCR or book titles (those can easily be added by hand and save some cash). You might want to contact them and ask them if it applies for new customers - but here are the details:


We will hold a “Buy one order, Get another order FREE!!” Campaign from
5th August 2016 to 31st August 2016 to celebrate our 5 year anniversary!!

Place any book order, then get a FREE Coupon for a matching number of sets!!
In additional, we will add on OCR and Book Title Options for FREE to your
second matching set!
http://1dollarscan.com/pricing.php

Our coupon will match the number of sets in your order up to 100 sets.
For example, if you order 10 sets with the OCR option for $20, then you will
receive a coupon for an additional 10 sets with OCR and Book Title Options
for FREE!! 
That would be a $30 VALUE!! Order more and save more.

Thanks for the heads up.  I got a response that this is for anyone who orders from them.

One other question - did you have any books that were old enough that they did not have an ISBN number?  It appears in the terms and conditions that these books might be treated as Business Documents and hence more expensive.  I think Business Documents were 10 pages to a set,  From the site:

- Book should have ISBN number, otherwise would be considered as "Business Documents".
- Some exceptions may apply for books with ISSN or Library of Congress number. Please inquire support@1dollarscan.com for eligibility.

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 1:03 PM

No prob in my case I did have a few books that didn't have an ISBN due to age or personally published.  They Treated them all like books.  I even had some magazines/etc and they counted them all the same, so I haven't ran into that issue.  I don't know if it helps them, but it helped me to included an Excel file with each book title in the box/order I sent them that had the title, number of pages, and the number of sets.  

Posts 507
Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 1:45 PM

Chris, 

Thanks for writing this. I'm doing almost the same thing, but with a slightly different process and end result. I bought a heavy duty paper cutter, a Scansnap scanner, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9, and Abbyy Finereader 11 Pro. So I do the cutting and scanning myself.

I keep the end result a PDF though, with the OCR text placed under the image. I did this because I found that as good as ABBYY is, its not perfect. I'd rather have the scanned page available if I have any questions as to the text conversion.

So I can't put mine into Logos, but as of right now I'm okay with that. Maybe they'll include a PDF import function in a future version of Logos?

About how long do you spend on each book once you have the PDF from 1dollarscan?

Also, how's the scanning quality? I do mine in 600 dpi. do they offer that?

Posts 2773
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 3:42 PM

Chris K:

The benefits to me outweighed the risks:

  • I would be able to clear quite a bit of space from my bookshelves.
  • Next time I move, I won't have a ton of boxes of books.

There is a problem with the copyrights on the books.  Many state that you may not enter them into a electronic form.  Also after you enter them into Logos you will still have to keep the hard copy books as while it may be legal to move them to electronic form without permission of the copyright holder as soon as you get rid of the hard copy you lose all rights to the book.  You can copy a music CD to MP3 format but you then have to keep the CD if you want to keep the MP3 file you made from it.  What gives you the rights to the MP3 copy is your ownership of the original. Yes, you can get forgiven for making illegal copies by getting down on your knees and asking for it but if you keep the illegal copy you have not repented of that sin and are thus not eligible for forgiveness.  

Posts 2773
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 3:48 PM

Greg Masone:

Chris, 

Thanks for writing this. I'm doing almost the same thing, but with a slightly different process and end result. I bought a heavy duty paper cutter, a Scansnap scanner, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9, and Abbyy Finereader 11 Pro. So I do the cutting and scanning myself.

I keep the end result a PDF though, with the OCR text placed under the image. 

From their webpage ""FineReader converts scanned paper documents, digital images of texts and image-only PDFs into actionable formats such as Microsoft® Word, Excel® or searchable PDFs, enabling you to quote or entirely reuse text and table content without retyping.""

Why not save in DOCX format so that you could import into Logos?  [[and Yes, I did read my own prior post]]

Posts 507
Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 4:40 PM

Hello David, 

Because the OCR process isn't perfect. If I export to a .docx, I only export the OCR text, errors and all. If I place the text underneath the PDF image, I still have access to my original scan plus the OCR text.

ABBYY is maybe 99% accurate, depending on the page. I've tried to go through books and error proof them, but the amount of time necessary for it is more than I have.

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 8:44 PM

Hey Greg, sounds like you have a pretty cool process going on - I know that no OCR Program is perfect - and I keep the PDFs in a Folder for reference for that and for citation information (page numbers/etc.)  To answer your questions:

Greg Masone:
So I can't put mine into Logos, but as of right now I'm okay with that. Maybe they'll include a PDF import function in a future version of Logos?

  • Yeah that would be great, though it will require their own OCR capability and that would be a lot of work/programming, then to convert it into the Logos format.  I am hoping for the same thing, but realistically I am not holding my breath Sad

Greg Masone:
About how long do you spend on each book once you have the PDF from 1dollarscan?

  • I probably spend about 5 minutes/book by the time I quickly find the cover, let ABBYY FineReader do its thing, convert it to Word, Save it without compatibility, and add in all the info into Verbum/upload.  Some of that time is Passive (waiting for FineReader to finish its OCR Process) and it is a little faster when I am on my home desktop that is a lot better than the laptop I did most of these on.

Greg Masone:
Also, how's the scanning quality? I do mine in 600 dpi. do they offer that?

  • They scan everything in 300dpi which is more than fine for the text/pics in a digital format (screens display in 72 dpi and even the HD screens wouldn't give much difference in terms of notice). They do offer a High Quality Scan option for an additional $2/set - but that would get quite costly pending the amount of books you have.  Still, if there is a book you really like you could always have a couple books in your order with the HQS add-on.

I would recommend that if you have them in PDF to go the extra step and do the Word conversion (I know FineReader does the conversion, I am not sure about OmniPage).  That way you can actually use them in Logos, and still refer back to the PDF if something doesn't appear right or if you need to reference the original scan.  It seems like you are doing a lot of work, but not fully utilizing the power of a digital copy by not importing it into Logos.  I hope this helps!

Chris, 

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 2 2016 9:02 PM

David Ames:

There is a problem with the copyrights on the books.  Many state that you may not enter them into a electronic form.  Also after you enter them into Logos you will still have to keep the hard copy books as while it may be legal to move them to electronic form without permission of the copyright holder as soon as you get rid of the hard copy you lose all rights to the book.  You can copy a music CD to MP3 format but you then have to keep the CD if you want to keep the MP3 file you made from it.  What gives you the rights to the MP3 copy is your ownership of the original.

Thanks for the info - I did look into this a bit, and while I definitely do not claim to be a lawyer or have that type of knowledge, from what I have researched, it is a very gray area in terms of legality.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Google for scanning their books AND distributing: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/10/copyright/u-s-appeals-court-rules-google-book-scanning-is-fair-use/   There are some interesting sections in this article that are applicable to the topic at hand, particularly:

“To a great extent what this case now stands for is the ability to use existing copyright and works in order to build new kinds of tools.” Crews added, “While Google is obviously a big company with the resources to be able to create a vast database and provide public access to it, I think that this decision will inspire researchers and others to create smaller projects.”

  Also, I understand what you mentioned for the necessity of keeping the original, but there is also a copyright provision for making a backup of your media and resources in case they are lost or destroyed (this was something that was allowed for DVD and Blu-Ray movies - I don't have the source at this time, but I recall looking this up a few years ago for a different project).  To my knowledge, that would apply in this case as well - as the books are "destroyed", they are not being resold, redistributed, shared, etc.  Also, given these other points, it seems that it would be valid:

  • I have purchased the book; I have paid the copyright holder for the information in the book.
  • I am retaining the digital copy of the scanned book for my personal use for research and education.
  • I am not sharing the scanned copy of the book with others, for fee or for free. (There's no intent to deprive or harm copyright holder.) 
  • I am not seeking to profit (other than personal knowledge enrichment) from scanning this book into digital form or by marking it up with my personal notes, nor am I seeking to deprive the publisher of their right to profit from their copyrighted work.
                                              (above adapted from Eric Mack)

Furthermore, I know these book-scanning companies do work with publishers.  1DollarScan clearly states that it will not scan in any publication by McGraw Hill, so clearly they have been checking with publishers to legitimize their business - if not, wouldn't the publishers go after these companies for copyright infringement?  There are a ton out there and if it was a legal issue, one of the publishers should have filed suit against these companies by now.

David Ames:

Yes, you can get forgiven for making illegal copies by getting down on your knees and asking for it but if you keep the illegal copy you have not repented of that sin and are thus not eligible for forgiveness.  

I do appreciate you worrying about my soul, and while this topic isn't meant to be a theological topic, I do find it concerning that you seem to equate sinfulness with legality.  If everything that was legal was virtuous and everything illegal was sinful, it would be a very scary world in terms of understanding "Truth".  Laws change, God's Truth does not.   Slavery was legal, but I would definitely say that it was still sinful.  There are many laws today that allow things that I (and most Christians) would hold to be immoral/sinful and vice-versa.  

I don't see what commandment would be broken in the above as I am not "stealing" from the copyright holder.  They have been compensated and honored for their work, and I am not distributing or profiting from their work.

In any case, I do appreciate your spiritual concern!

Posts 856
Michael McLane | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 3 2016 3:25 AM

Have you found there to be any way to get your personal books onto your mobile device directly without having to need to upload to the server (which it will not do). Even if I could directly copy it directly to my mobile device it would make it worth it for me to invest more in working with PB's since I do a majority of my reading on my mobile device.

Posts 13417
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 3 2016 4:25 AM

Chris K:
These are the steps I took and the resources I used that you might find helpful.

I do something very similar for a smaller subset of my books, again using ABBYY. The key difference is that I do the scanning myself using a Plustek OpticBook 3800. When I'm focused I can scan 5-6 pages per minute, so a 250 page book which would cost you $2.50 costs me 42 minutes. That's a poor return on my time until you member that I don't need to destroy the book. Even if the book was only worth $15, my 42 minutes saves me $17.50, which equates to $25/hour. I would also worry slightly about the copyright implications of owning a scanned copy of a book that I no longer own because it's been destroyed.

The OpticBook produces excellent quality scans, that give very, very high rates of OCR accuracy.

The other thing I do is have a Word stylesheet just for Personal books that has minimal formatting. I've found this helps slightly when importing.

Posts 507
Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 3 2016 7:39 AM

Mark, 

I've got an Optibook 3600 that's served me well over the years. Scanning at 300 DPI takes me about 20 minutes per hundred pages. So yeah, its a time investment, but you do save your book.

I've played around with ways to save my book after chopping off the spine, with decent success. I can fold back the covers on paperback books and just cut the actual pages, leaving the covers attached to the spine. Once I scan them in my Scansnap, I put them back in between the covers and it looks like a regular book.

I'd hate to drop a stack though! But I found the book can actually lay totally flat on a table now without me having to press down on it!

For me I love the utility of a digital book, but at the same time I also love the physical book itself. My dilemma is one of space, as I'm sure every bibliophile runs into eventually!

Posts 2878
Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Aug 3 2016 2:14 PM

Any copyright issues with doing this?  Or since you do not get the hard copy back, is this considered just changing the format of a book you own, and not a violation of copyright?

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2016 9:53 AM

Michael McLane:

Have you found there to be any way to get your personal books onto your mobile device directly without having to need to upload to the server (which it will not do). Even if I could directly copy it directly to my mobile device it would make it worth it for me to invest more in working with PB's since I do a majority of my reading on my mobile device.

The only way I have found to do this is to keep the PDFs in a Folder in my Google Drive, then I can open the PDFs from Google Drive in my mobile phone or iPad and read them that way.  This would also work with Dropbox/etc.  Hopefully, Logos will support the integration of Personal Books in the Mobile Platforms soon!

I hope this helps!

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2016 9:55 AM

Michael Childs:

Any copyright issues with doing this?  Or since you do not get the hard copy back, is this considered just changing the format of a book you own, and not a violation of copyright?

See the above posts for the discussion on Copyright - there seems to be two minds on that one.

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2016 9:58 AM

Greg Masone:

I've got an Optibook 3600 that's served me well over the years. Scanning at 300 DPI takes me about 20 minutes per hundred pages. So yeah, its a time investment, but you do save your book.

Does your scanner have an autofeed? Or do you have to do each page by hand?  Does it do automatic 2 sided scanning?  I have used my Neat Desktop to scan in some spiral bound things that I didn't need cut/etc. and that has worked well, though it was time consuming to make sure the pages didn't stick together or jam.  And, like you, I could only do about 20 or so pages at a time.

Posts 222
Chris K | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 4 2016 10:03 AM

Mark Barnes:

 When I'm focused I can scan 5-6 pages per minute, so a 250 page book which would cost you $2.50 costs me 42 minutes. That's a poor return on my time until you member that I don't need to destroy the book. Even if the book was only worth $15, my 42 minutes saves me $17.50, which equates to $25/hour.

That's an awesome price breakdown.  I definitely appreciate it.  Have you factored in the cost of the scanner as well?  Or did you already have it?  I know the big thing for me is the time as I don't have a lot of it - so my fear is that the Second Coming would come before I got done with the scanning of the books :)

  Would you care to share the Word stylesheet you use?  That might be very helpful!

Page 1 of 2 (23 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS