Happy new year 2017 to you all!
I’ve been busy, tearing the backs off books, in order to turn them into PDFs. It’s far quicker, if you have a scanner with a sheet feeder, than turning pages laboriously. First you pull off the card cover. This leaves you with the book block. Then you break it apart, a dozen pages at a time. Then you guillotine off the ragged spine section, removing glue etc. Finally you pop the leaves into your scanner and … le voila! a PDF emerges. I make the book searchable – i.e., I OCR it. The remains of the book can then be discarded, freeing up much needed shelf space.
It’s mostly been texts and translations, so far; things that I never read through, but often want to search for a phrase or idea. I find that some major English series of paperback translations break very well!
Also a hardback study in German has passed under the knife. In fact books in languages like German are good candidates for this; if I can get them into PDF, I can use Google Translate on them, and read them more easily.
On the other hand, in some cases, you want both. Thus I have had PDFs of Graf’s Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Litteratur for many years; but the volumes will remain, for how else can one skim through to get an overview? This is so much the case that I actually used the PDF’s of Brockelmann’s Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur to create some printed volumes.
The first volume I did, very much hands-a-tremble. But it’s getting easier. And … I’d better carry on!