The Robotic Book Scanner from Qidenus uses a series of technology to automatically turn the pages of a book and scan its contents into digital media. The product is currently used mainly by large university libraries, book archives, and companies, but lower-end products will soon come to market that will make the technology more accessible. (Source: Qidenus)
So true about the printed books, Elizabeth. I tend to stick with those for most everything but reference (where a search feature is useful). Not a fan of e-books for personal reading. You just can't do as much because your bound up with licensing rather than ownership. With a paper book, I can do whatever I want except actually copy it. I can loan it to a friend for whatever time period I want, I can give it to somebody, donate to the local library, or put it in a box knowing full well that I can read it in 20 year...or somebody else can after I'm long gone. Not so with the ebooks.
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