Scanning and storing books on Google Drive

Off With Its Head!

Article from Issue 146/2013

Armed with a Chinese guillotine and a scanner with an automatic document feeder, Mike Schilli gives his books some special treatment, courtesy of Google Drive, which offers 5GB of storage space – room enough to start an online PDF collection.

Some publishers are still wary of converting to digital books, although the trail was blazed long ago. But, who relishes the prospect of carrying around pounds of reading material on vacation, especially with excess baggage costing a fortune? And, why fill your shelves at home with dustcatching books that you might not even look at until your next move?

Admittedly, I’ve had my shelves at home filled with unread printed books for many years – and I’m not really interested in re-purchasing the digital formats, all the more so because most of the older works will probably never appear in digital editions. This is what prompted me to purchase a US$ 400 wonder scanner by Fujitsu. The second device is purely mechanical and goes by the Jacobin name of guillotine: a paper cutter weighing approximately 40 pounds (US$ 150 on eBay) that lets me separate books of up to 600 pages from their sleeves and bindings (Figure 1).

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