If you want to digitize a book, there are advantages to using a scanner that is designed for the task. Most of the desktop scanners sold at your local computer store have a problem with "page curl." That's the edge of the page that is closest to the binding. Most books cannot be placed flat on the glass surface of a normal scanner as the page curls near the binding. Book scanners, such as the Plustek OpticBook 3800 Book Scanner, solve that problem nicely.
The Plustek OpticBook 3800 Book Scanner is still a normal flatbed scanner made for desktop use. Unlike most flatbed scanners, the OpticBook 3800's platen glass goes right to the edge of the flatbed. This lets you scan up to the edge of the spine, with the page lying flat and the facing page and rest of the book hanging straight down (if you position the scanner at the edge of your desk or table). You can scan books along the spine without having to break the spine and hold it down with your hands.
Describing the better scanning process in words isn't easy. I'd suggest you watch a video of this scanner in operation at http://youtu.be/x8cssQvIlIk or click on the video player below:
NOTE: The video is for the Plustek OpticBook 3600 Book Scanner but operation appears to be identical on the newer Plustek OpticBook 3800.
The OpticBook 3800 measures 4.1 by 17.8 by 11.2 inches and weighs 7.5 pounds. The scanning area is slightly larger than letter size; it fits up to A4 paper. It will scan at up to 1200 dpi resolution, resulting in good reproduction of color pictures as well as books.
The OpticBook 3800scanner also ships with a lot of Windows software: Abbyy FineReader 9.0 Sprint for optical character recognition (OCR); Newsoft Presto! PageManager 7.23 and Plustek's own DI Capture 1.0 for document management; Presto! ImageFolio 4.5 for photo editing and photo editing; a Twain driver for scanning directly from most Windows programs that include a scan command; and Book Pavilion, a book-scanning program. Some Macintosh software is also included but most Mac users seem to prefer other, existing Mac software as most all Mac software will work with the OpticBook 3800.
While scanning to the edge of a page or to the center of a page (next to the binding) is a great convenience, the fact remains that you have to physically move the book after each scan and then press the scan button each time you want to scan a new page. That gets old quickly. There is no auto-scan feature and no sheet feeder. You will not enjoy scanning 1,000 bound pages with this or any other flatbed scanner!
The Plustek OpticBook 3800 Book Scanner has a suggested retail price of $299 but most of the online discount merchants sell it for less. I found it on Amazon for $249. Amazon Prime members even get free shipping.
The Plustek OpticBook 3800 Book Scanner is not perfect but probably is the best scanner you can find at this price that is designed for scanning books, including scanning to the edges of the page.