I have several books that I love reading but because of my asthma I would need them in digital format. The paper back is too old and would affect me. I tried to find one of them in digital format but found the author has passed and there is no digital format in existence.


If you do not plan to distribute the copies, there is a better solution to just re-type everything - especially if there is more than 1 book.

  1. Scan book page by page.
  2. OCR the resulting images.
  3. Sister only makes correction where it is needed - or not at all, if mistakes can be "corrected" in the mind, while reading.

Depending on the choices for step 2, you need to slightly adjust step 1.

There are even solution for the smartphones - take picture with smartphone, get text. I did a lot of scans for personal purposes, but I do not have much experience with OCR. Try a search on the net for first steps to OCR.

Discussion - Convert paper book to ebook

OCR = Optical Character Recognition

  • Some scanners do the OCR for you (or, rather, they come with the OCR sw). So you just scan and have a nice searchable PDF directly.
    – Tomas By
    Feb 4 '19 at 16:05
  • True. However, we cannot narrow down solutions until we hear from our friend in need.
    – virolino
    Feb 4 '19 at 18:24
  • Depending on luck, the scanner and the software may be worth the money, or not.
    – virolino
    Feb 4 '19 at 18:26

There are several companies that offer book digitization services. For example:




  • Thank you 4 advice. The downside to these options are that my original copy will be destroyed. I don't really want that. Since my sister is a fast typist she's typing the book 4 me. At least this way I get to keep my copy. Plus I don't have to live with the color scanned copy of paper. I will simply have one book done and wait until I'm ready to scrap my paperbacks.
    – user12234
    Jan 14 '19 at 5:02
  • @user 12234: this sounds borderline crazy. You should get a scanner. They are quite cheap now.
    – Tomas By
    Feb 4 '19 at 15:40

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