The Different Types of Book Scanners Explained

When considering book scanner, you’ll find a diverse array of choices

Firstly, flatbed book scanners resemble standard scanners users with low budget often use in small offices for ad-hock single-scan requirements. Though functional, by pressing it flat against the glass plate, this can be damaging to the book’s spine and is not really the right way to scan a book.

Conversely, overhead book scanners offer an intuitive experience with a top-mounted camera and flat base or book cradle to position your book. They’re renowned for their ease of use and remarkable output quality.

Then, we encounter A-shaped book scanners, a unique design akin to an upward-pointing rectangle. To use them, simply open the book and place it face down. They’re limited in scan size, not user-friendly, and not ideal for high-volume scanning tasks. For on-the-go requirements, handheld book scanners come into play. These portable “scanning sticks” are good for home-use / individuals needing a compact, easy-to-use solution that fits effortlessly into a bag.

Lastly, for maximum convenience and efficiency, we have auto-flip book scanners. These machines are completely hands-free, performing all the scanning tasks on their own. You merely need to position the book. However, some handle small books and other goes up to double A3 size, they’re suitable for large digitization projects, that require a fast none-destructive scanning.

Selected none destructive Book scanner

Portable, Overhead, A-Shaped, Professional Overhead with Book Cradle and Auto-Flip Book scanners

Key Features to Consider in a Book Scanner

To choose the right book scanner, several crucial features require your attention. The coverage area is one such factor, determining the size of the page it can capture. For standard textbooks, a scanner with a coverage area of 13.7 x 18.9 inches usually suffices. However, for larger bounded objects, scanners capable of scanning up to A1 size may be needed.

In the digital age, the operating system compatibility of your scanner is a key concern. The majority of book scanners are compatible with Windows OS, but if you use other platforms like Mac OS, Chromebook, Android, or iOS, you’ll need to check for compatibility. This ensures the smooth integration of your scanner with your preferred devices. Check also for Scan2Pad feature for flexible scan from iPad or Android.

When dealing with large volumes of books, scanning speed becomes a crucial factor. An ideal scan speed is one page in less than two seconds. However, the speed also depends on the scanner’s sensor. Most scanners fall within the one to two-second range, offering reasonable efficiency for most scanning tasks.

Choosing Between Automatic, Semiautomatic and Manual Book Scanners

Automatic book scanners offer unrivaled convenience, featuring technology that turns each page, freeing you from the task. Thanks to page suction technology, these devices prove highly efficient for unattended scanning. They’re ideal for commercial entities like universities, archives and businesses that need to digitize large volume of books.

Semiautomatic Book Scanner, offer a high level 600 dpi production system with Unique self-adjusting and V-shaped book cradle with motor driven glass plate. They are suitable for digitization projects that require high quality and maximum productivity even in 24/7 operation.

Manual book scanners, like overhead, A-shaped, and handheld scanners, require user interaction for each page turn. They are ideal for smaller volumes of scanning, with options for every budget. When choosing between automatic and manual book scanners, it’s essential to consider the number of books you’ll be scanning, your budget, and available space.

Types of Book Scanners

Manual, Archive and Semiautomatic Bookeye Scanners and the DL-Mini Auto-flip book Scanners

Scanning Old Books Without Damage

For those treasured old books, non-destructive book scanning is your go-to method. This process allows you to create a digital copy of an old, valuable book without causing any damage. Preparation is essential in this process, such as removing any inserts, cleaning visible dirt, and ensuring that no dust gets into the scanner.

Extreme care is necessary not to overstretch the binding during the scanning process. This might be a lengthy procedure, but the use of curve flattening technology can ensure each page appears flat without exerting any pressure on the book. If the book is exceptionally fragile, it’s worth considering hiring a professional to do the scanning.

Defining a Good Scanning Speed

An excellent book scanning speed is one that falls under three seconds per page. However, the speed also depends on how quickly the scanner processes the page, the speed of the individual turning the pages, and the scanner’s speed-enhancing features like page turning detection or interval auto scanning.

A book scanner with high-speed continuous scanning is beneficial if you need to scan a lot of books quickly. These devices often have smart features like knowing when you’re turning the page and correcting the scanned image to remove any visible hands or fingers.

Evaluating Camera Quality in Book Scanners

Professional book scanners have linear sensors capturing red, green and blue lines, one after the other, from a document illuminated with white light. Others uses digital cameras image sensor with 140 MPixel chips to get 600dpi resolution on an area of DINA2. While Professional Book scanners, like the Bookeye, uses CCD line sensors with 22,500 pixels (11,000 scan lines equals to a 245 MPixel matrix camera), almost 4-times the quality of digital cameras.

Automatic Page Turning in Book Scanners

Certain book scanners come equipped with automatic page-turning features, an invaluable aid in high-volume scanning tasks. Scanners like the 4Digitalbooks incorporate these features. 4DigitalBook DL-Mini is designed for Large Volume of Book Digitization of any bound material that significantly increases the net throughput and lowers the overall costs of your digitization projects.

DL-mini automatic flip book scanner suitable for books, magazines and bound newspapers – Up to A2 format scanning surface suitable for 24 hours / 7 days operation, with Constant Image Quality, Reliable Page Turning and Highest Book Safety. DL-Mini does not require a full time operator, therefore enabling lowest project costs and highest staff productivity.

OCR Process on Book Scanners

OCR feature in a book scanner

Book Scanner works Best with OCR

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software is a key feature that could be bundled with book scanners, enabling the conversion of scanned pages into editable text. The Bookeye Book Scanner boasts patented OCR software capable of recognizing over 130 languages. This scanner is ideal for scanning books from around the globe.

Selecting a Book Scanner for Library Use

For library use, the choice of book scanner often depends on the specific requirements and budget. Overhead book scanners and automatic book scanners are both ideal, depending on the nature of use. If the scanner is meant to serve students and visitors, Bookeye overhead scanners with cutting-edge features should suffice.

For larger digitization projects involving the entire library collection, automatic scanners might be a more efficient choice, provided the library has the budget, space, and staff to operate these machines.

Alternatives to Book Scanning

Book scanning isn’t the only method for digitizing books. If owning a scanner isn’t an option, consider using professional book scanning services. These companies are experts in the field, capable of producing high-quality digital copies of your books.

As an alternative, consider using a phone camera along with a book scanning app. This might be a more cost-effective and space-saving solution for those with fewer books to scan. Another option is to take advantage of book scanners available at local libraries.