I have a lot of books.
It’s kind of a weakness of mine. Even now, in the day and age of the e-reader, I still horde “dead-tree” books by the dozens. I have a Kindle Fire, but I use it more to watch streaming movies and play Freecell. When I read books, I still prefer to pick them up, smell them, feel the pages between my fingers and have the ability to pull them off the shelf and lend them to people.
Still, I am not a complete Luddite (well, maybe I am, but for the sake of this article, I’ll pretend I am not) and I realize that e-books are the future. Now, when I saw the transition from VHS to DVD, I ended up selling all my movies on eBay (News - Alert) and repurchasing them in the updated format. It was annoying and exhausting, so I have not recreated the process in the advent of Blu-rays (well, with some titles, maybe. Boba Fett looks pretty stunning in high definition). Likewise, I don’t feel like tracking down every book I own in electronic format, especially since many of them are not available. So, what is a guy to do? I can scan in the books, but unless I have unlimited time (or an intern. Apply here if you are interested) that seems like a daunting proposal.
Or so I thought.
Thanks to the life-hackers at Google (News - Alert) who, apparently can use 20 percent of their work time for personal projects (!), I can make my very own automatic book scanner, which has a far better design than the automatic kickball pitching machine I tried to create in 4th grade (designing the contraption around a lawn chair was probably a mistake).
The device incorporates a scanner, a vacuum cleaner and other pieces and can automatically digitize your books quickly and efficiently. Check it out in action:
According to sources, the device will run you about $1,500 and is capable of scanning a 1,000 page book in about 90 minutes. The vacuum turns the pages for you and the scanner does the grunt work. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with Hoover and J.R.R. Tolkien…