A book scanning machine is an equipment specifically designed for bound book scanning. Usually, this overhead book scanner features a high-quality linear camera and a high-end lighting system.

The book scanning device can be manual or fully automatic. A manual book scanner means the operator manually flips pages and captures each scan. An automatic book scanner flips page automatically and also captures each scan the same way. It means less involvement for the operator.

How the best book scanner should work

When you think about the ideal book scanner, this should have a couple of features.

  • It should offer non destructive book scanning. That means you use it to scan a book without damaging it. You can capture all the information from the book while maintaining the integrity of the bound documents.
  • The resolution of the book or textbook scanner needs to be at least 300dpi. This has to be an optical resolution, not interpolated. A resolution of 600dpi is an advantage.
  • You will need a scanner with a high-end lighting system. This allows for even illumination of each scan for a high-quality output.
  • The book scanning software has to provide all the features for high-quality digitization of bound books. It should provide book scanning to PDF, TIFF, Jpeg or other image files.

Automatic or manual book scanning device?

We have answered this question more precisely in our automatic book scanner article. But we will sum it up again in this paragraph.

  • A manual scanner is the best machine for digitizing books that are fragile or are not in a very good condition. Usually, they are used in larger projects where the documents are diverse and heterogeneous.
  • The automatic book scanning machines are used in libraries or archives where the books are quite homogenous. In this way, the scanner needs less setup and you can take full advantage of the productivity it offers.
  • You will have to evaluate the project you are working on quite well. Based on this evaluation, you will know if you need a manual or an automatic book scanning machine.

Our article on automatic book scanners will help you get a good idea on how these devices work.

Are you a book scanning service?

If you are in this situation, most likely you are trying to become the best book scanning service. You will want good book scanning service reviews and make your customers happy.

In this case, you will need the best overhead book scanner for the job. Therefore, you will do some research and get the machine that suits you best. Still, you should think about some key aspects.

  • Offering non-destructive book scanning service is a must. You can’t just cut the books and scan them. More and more customers want their books to remain intact after the scanning process.
  • Focus on machines that will give you a competitive advantage. Whether it’s scanning older books or even high-quality art books. Even in this field of work niches still, exist. So focus on what others can’t do.
  • Evaluate the amount of work you will have to do. If it’s a larger project, maybe 5 manual scanners will help you get better productivity than 2 automatic scanners. Always take into account practical aspects and actual productivity of the machines you buy.

Read more about a review of our book scanning services. This will give you a better idea of what is required for book scanning services.

What is a good book scanner price?

The price for professional book scanners can be over 100.000 dollars. This price is usually for automatic book scanning devices. Manual book scanners can cost 4 times less. It all depends on what you use it for and how much scanning you will be doing.

  • If your project means digitizing 30 or 40 thousand pages of books, it will not make sense to buy an automatic book scanner. In that case, we recommend going for a cheaper option or even go for book scanning services.
  • When your digitization project means hundreds of thousands of pages or even millions, then you have to take into account productivity and certain characteristics of the project.
  • If your project means standard books with a good integrity then an automatic book scanner is your best bet.
  • When the project means scanning various documents in different conditions, then having a mix of manual scanners may be more suited.

What have we learned?

  • Book scanning machines have different characteristics. Some are more important than others, but you should always see what is important to you and your project.
  • There are two types of book scanners, manual or automatic. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. It all depends on the characteristics of the books and the productivity you require.
  • When you are a book scanning service, you will need to deliver for your customers. Understand their needs and choose your equipment based on these requirements.
  • Prices for such an equipment can vary quite a bit. It all depends on the budget you have and the project you are working on. Usually, you will find the best compromise between quality and performance if you carefully analyze market possibilities.