There’s a really interesting article over at the Chronicle of Higher Education about a project by Professor Alexander Halavais’.
Books take up space. That’s a problem for any librarian tasked with finding room on overcrowded shelves. It’s also a problem for a book-loving scholar who lives in a small New York City apartment with a toddler and more than 3,000 books. Under those conditions, something’s got to give. Chances are good it won’t be the toddler.
“First I cut the boards off, and then slice the bindings. I have tried a table saw, but a cheap stack cutter works better. Then I feed [the pages] into my little page-fed scanner, OCR them (imperfectly) using Acrobat, and back them up to a small networked attached storage device.”
As of September, he as 1,000 books in. He’s written a blog post about the process.
It’s funny how cutting up books can provoke such a reaction (see the comments on the Chronicle article: one commenter called it “cannibalism on such a grand scale”). When I think about doing it, my initial reaction is “I can’t do THAT”. However, if I really had to do it, I think I could, at least for the books I am not really really attached to.
How about you, could you take a stack cutter to your books? Anyone done it already? Leave a comment and let us know how it worked out for you.
(Photo by nSeika)