From my diary

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!


2 thoughts on “From my diary

  1. A Fujistu Scansnap S1300, which is a very compact, mobile unit. The current model seems to be the S1300i (Amazon. In use it expands out nicely, and scans to PDF. It can be run from a USB port, and carried around easily (although I never do). I then use Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro to manipulate and combine the PDFs and to make them searchable. I recommend it.

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