The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.I have been downsizing my book collection by scanning the books and then often, but not always, throwing away the printed copies. I keep the digital copies in a laptop computer's hard drive plus on several flash drives plus copies stored in the cloud. The copies in a cloud-based storage service let me access any of the digitized books quickly and easily on an iPad, a cell phone, a friend's computer, or anyplace else I wish to view them. I find this handy not only for my own use but also when at genealogy conferences and various meetings. If I am discussing something I saw in a book with another genealogist, I can view the book on my tablet computer's screen and even send a copy of the book to the other person by email if the copyright laws allow.
Of course, another big benefit is the fact that digitized books require no shelf space. There is no need for me to purchase more bookshelves. In fact, if I were to place all the printed genealogy books and magazines I have ever purchased on bookshelves, first I would need to purchase a bigger house!
The problem became even worse when I started a mobile lifestyle. I now spend my summers in the northern U.S. and my winters in the Sun Belt. I also own a Winnebago motor home that has restricted space for books. Yet, I refuse to stop doing genealogy reading and research when on the road. Luckily, today's technology makes for an easy solution: digitize everything and have it available anywhere, anytime.
That solution sounds great until you start scanning the books and magazines. Then you run into a major problem: scanning hundreds of pages is a slow and tedious process with most scanners. In fact, "tedious" isn't a strong enough word. It is truly boring. After about two years of effort, I have found a few ways to minimize the labor required.
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