In a comment at the end of my recent Preserving Wedding Pictures article, a newsletter reader lamented, "I would love to digitize [my wedding photos] but the bound book will not fit in my scanner." Actually, there is an easy solution: obtain a scanner that is designed to scan bound books.
I believe there are a number of scanners that will scan books, but by far the best-known book scanner is the Plustek OpticBook series. These have a scanning mechanism that allows you to scan all the way to the book spine without distortion of the scanned image. Take a look at the picture to the right to see how it works.
The Plustek OpticBook 3600 allows for “zero edge” scanning. This means the scanning module can scan right up to the edge of the scanner where the book spine is placed. The book can therefore be scanned with the pages completely flat on the glass to avoid the annoying book spine shadow and distorted lines of text which occur when the book is scanned on a traditional flatbed scanner. The Plustek OpticBook 3600 special edge will not only protect your books, but it will also give you a perfectly scanned image.
Normal scanners cannot scan properly to the edge so they produce images that look like this:
The Plustek OpticBook 3600 sells for $219.99 at Amazon.com, $219.99 at RootsBooks, $229.99 at TigerDirect, $272.99 at PC-Mall, or for $251.49 at DataVision. Those prices do not include shipping charges.
NOTE #1: RootsBooks is an online genealogy book store that I created.
NOTE #2: The prices were accurate when I checked but are subject to change at any time.