In most cases I recommend scanners with an automatic document feeder, but one big case where they don’t work out so well is when scanning a book.
The most logical solution is to cut the book and then feed the pages through your scanner, but what if you don’t want to do that?
Over on Instructables, they’ve posted a Portable, Paperless, Digital Copy Machine with instructions on how you can build it yourself.
As the author says:
Your materials should cost less than $20, maybe less than $10, and the labor time should be only a few hours. I am assuming that you already have a digital camera and a computer for downloading pictures. Of course, your camera will do most of the work here, but you will provide it with a steady stand that has a press for getting those book pages flat.
As my wife will attest, I’m not the most handy person in the world (I’ve been known to get my fingers stuck to things with Crazy Glue), but I think I am going to give this one a try. If I succeed I’ll post a video of it in action.
If you paired this with something like an Eye-Fi card and some folder actions, you could have a pretty cool book scanning workflow.
If you have other tips for book scanning (or if you’ve rigged something like this), let us know in the comments.