Aside from the psychological transition required for new users, perhaps the largest thing standing in the way of Kindle adoption among book lovers is the element of collectability that often goes hand in hand with reading. Over the years, book lovers are prone to ending up with large numbers of books, which only makes sense. In a situation where not every book you have can be replaced in the new format, especially for a reasonably cheap price, it can be difficult to justify the move to a medium that seems at a glance to offer few advantages to the well stocked book owner. A new service, 1DollarScan, makes the transition rather significantly easier.
Their focus is, unsurprisingly, cheap scanning of large quantities of documents. For just $1 per 10 pages of business document or 100 pages of book, getting anything you have on paper converted into a PDF is no longer particularly troublesome. Due to the way their pricing scheme is set up, any book you might want to have converted will be done for no more than $6. Not necessarily the solution for a huge library, for a couple reasons, but I could see it being an amazing value.
The most important thing to keep in mind when considering the value of such a service is that you will not be getting your books back. This is a full move to digital, with no going back, since they chop off the spine of each book to facilitate scanning. In many instances this will mean you either want to hang onto your original book or find alternate means of eBook acquisition, but not always.
Take, for example, the obscure reference book shelf. I’m sure many people have one. Am I attached enough to each particular title to make keeping them around necessary? Chances are good they would see more use on a portable device anyway. If we’re talking about particularly narrow-niche publications then you often get a combination of minimal annotation, impossible to find in inexpensive eBook format, and only occasional usefulness. If you can remove them from your shelf, while making them more functional by having them always available, for just $2-3, it’s worth it. Even for larger or more well-loved titles, this is the first simple, cheap method that I have found that will allow for retention of your handwritten notes.
Right now, 1DollarScan is only offering their results in PDF format. For some things, like heavily annotated books, this is ideal. For the most part, however, I’m looking forward to Kindle compatibility. They list both the Kindle and the Nook as soon to be supported, so hopefully this won’t be long in coming. At the moment all documents include an OCR layer anyway, so it seems like a logical next step once they get some momentum behind them.
I don’t believe that anybody will ever want to completely do away with a well established personal library, but that doesn’t mean that every title has equal value. Not everything needs to take up shelf space. Now that there are options like the Kindle that allow users to maintain most of their collections without sacrificing actual space in their home or office, where’s the harm in converting?
Check out 1DollarScan at http://1dollarscan.com/