Sunday, 2 November 2008

drawing together some book digitisation strands ...

Melbourne university library's decision to install an espresso book machine in the library and Google's recent settlement with authors probably means increased access to electronic versions of texts, which can either be printed as on demand books, or refactored as e-books, given the apparent increasing acceptance of e-book readers.

What's also interesting is Google's use of bulk OCR to deal with these books irritating scanned as graphic images, meaning the text can be extracted from the pdf for re-factoring with considerably greater ease.

All of which I guess is going to mean a few things:

  • The international trade in hard to find second hand books will die
  • Someone somewhere will start a mail order print on demand service to handle people without access to espresso book machines
  • e-readers will become more common for scholarly material- interesting or difficult texts will become solely print on demand or e-texts
  • Mass market books will always be with us, economies of scale and distribution cancel the warehousing costs

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