A lot of what I do demands a fair bit of concentration. When I get home at the weekend, I don’t always find myself able to concentrate that much. This is one reason why my additions to the Early Fathers collection developed; scanning and proofing texts does not require a lot of concentration, and can be quite soothing.
Like most of us, I have books and articles in photocopy form sitting around. Since I acquired the Fujitsu Scansnap S300, these have looked increasingly inconvenient.
And I hate “inconvenient.”
Well, it’s not that hard to stick one of these books-in-a-pile-of-photocopies through the Scansnap S300. I’ve just scanned one, which I will need sometime but not now. It created a PDF. I then opened the PDF in Abbyy Finereader 9, and ran the text recognition on it. Then I saved it again, as a searchable PDF. The latter isn’t as good quality as the first PDF, for some mysterious reason, so I’ll keep both.
So… I now have a pile of paper to throw away. If I ever need the book in that form, I can just print off the PDF.
Books that I use all the time are a different matter. Books that I read through with a glass of something by my side are a different matter. But books I never look at, and which I retain a copy of because of some idea I may one day work on? I think not.
I doubt I am alone in this. All over the world, students must be doing the same with textbooks.