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Digitising books

nnoble (889 posts) • 0

I have a large number of original text books I need to carry with me but the weight is prohibitive. A possible solution is to take the books in digital form and abandon the originals

Can anyone tell me if there is a place in Kunming to get this type of work done efficiently and good quality? Also, an indication of cost (....per page)

would be useful.


laotou (1714 posts) • 0

Assuming you're scanning pictures or chinese text - those files can grow quite large - make sure you have a really really really big hard drive (like 1tb or more).

Also, beware the quality - since they'll probably have to flip pages manually - they "may" get lazy.

Most decent sized, newer, professional print shops should have scan to PDF or scan to hard drive (PDF) capabilities - but scanning several text books will be painful - have you considered searching bittorrent sites for e-versions of your collections? Many learning Chinese textbooks have already been scanned and are sometimes available online via torrent or other filesharing sites.

nnoble (889 posts) • 0

These books are largely English Language but also a handful of Marketing and Business text books. A few of them have colour diagrams though mostly black and white. I have an example of a similar book that's been copied at acceptable quality with a file size of just 83mb (black and white only).

I will ask around at copy shops and ask about the 'scan to PDF' etc. I'm in no great hurry and not leaving any day soon (as far as I know) but all goods things must come to an end and I want to be prepared.

EnglishTeacher (101 posts) • 0

Why don't you make a list on this thread to see if anyone already has an PDF e-book version.

somenick (107 posts) • 0

PDF is totally not the right tool for such a job. look into DjVu >> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DjVu .. much smaller file size while still retaining high quality print. Just as an example, an A4 size physics book (lots of photos and diagrams) 1500 pages, clear print .. files size was a total of 38Mb (thirty eight only.. ). !! Save that as a pdf..

If you can't find a shop to do it for you cheap, build a digital scanner yourself. Or with other bookworms actually in Kunming now. (I'm not).

It's not very difficult. Have a look here, complete with illustrative photos and what not... >>


tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

We looked at buying a digital scanner, especially for this type of task. I'm not sure of the format, but 0.5 seconds per page.
I think someone quoted just over 1000rmb for the scanner on baidu.

Might be cheaper to buy the scanner, do your books and then sell the scanner on.

Geezer (1953 posts) • 0

I used a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner. It scans both sides of a piece of paper at the same time at a speed of 40 pages per minute. It has Acrobat on the CD.

I would take the book to a copy shop and have the spine cut off in a super paper cutter. This helps insure good page passes through the doc feeder.

Largest file size is 168MB for about 400 pages, another was 125MB for 500 pages. Both of these are BW. I got about 30 pages per minute average time, including paper jams, reloading and whatever.

I use Acrobat 9 and my digitized books are searchable which is nice as Chinese and most UK books do not have indexes.

Cost is about $450 (deluxe with software) in the US plus shipping. I could not find the scanner for sale in Kunming or Beijing. Made in China.

Geezer (1953 posts) • 0

One problem is a bit of ghosting as both sides are scanned at the same time. You get some bleed through from the other side. I have an older model. I bought my son a new model and he shipped me his old one. He is a CPA and takes it with him to clients. It is fairly small and light. Amazon shipping weight is 11 pounds.

A little expensive and there are other duplex scanners out there as well. For my time and money the Fujitsu did the job.

nnoble (889 posts) • 0

Cutting spines off of books, purchasing (selling) specific scanner (Fujitsu) is all useful information.

With this advice I could get my books done, donate the books, then possibly set one of my students up in the digitising business. Thanks.

somenick (107 posts) • 0

Link to said Fujitsu scanner? Actually I want to know if the maching you're talking about has some mechanism to automate flipping the pages..

Also, did you consider sending the books to another city? Did you try asking in some Shanghai forum for example?

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