Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Scan Your Books and Digitize Your Library with Google

Anyone silently (or otherwise)freaking out (like I am) over the number of books they have piling up and maybe even taking over their homes, can find some relief with the new Google Books application. It allows you to scan your books with an electronic scanner, feed the information into Google, and allow the search engine to find a match, which shows up as a listed menu item after the search has been completed.

And if you think that's cool, there are a number of interesting things one can do after that, such as run a search if, say, you can't remember what book you read recently had a chapter about the Civil War, or a recipe for pumpkin pie. I also like how you can theoretically archive your entire collection and take it with you if you are going on a trip, or even moving. How great would it be not to have to pack up hundreds of books?

In this video, the incredibly succinct Matt Cutts from Google shows how to scan books using an electronic scanner (under $70 from Amazon), and watch how the barcode magically appears with all the relevant book information. You can even ask the program to display the book covers as well.

I'm sold, and am going to try this asap. My only next questions are: what will I do with all the extra space my books were taking up? How will I find the time to scan 500 of my favorite books? Can they sinc all this to the Kindle?

Get started today and order your handy bar code scanner right here, I've conveniently found it for you!


Sue said...

Carrie - Before you get too far with Google, try LibraryThing.org - a little site with a big mission. It also allows you to scan, but it has a neat format that allows you to connect with folks who have the same tastes as you do, as well as hosts a book exchange.

Joel said...

And another thought: Delicious Software (not the bookmark folks) have a product (see at http://www.delicious-monster.com/) that runs on Macs that uses any webcam, including the built-in iSight of most Macbooks, to read barcodes. And it has a beautiful user interface.