I've been a Kindle user for years, but one of the excuses I hear from friends that aren't ready to make the jump to e-readers is that they've already got a ton of print books to read, and they don't want to spend more money to just buy the digital editions.
At one time that was a fair point but not anymore. Amazon just introduced Kindle Convert, a new program that turns the pages of paper books into digitized copies to read on your Kindle or e-reader of choice. All you have to do is load your book into a scanner, and you could be reading Ulysses with the swipe of a finger in no time.
If only it was that easy. Once you get past the scanning stage, there may actually be a bit of work involved. Kindle Convert gives you all of these options to perfect this scan, from splitting pages to cropping text to even text recognition that makes it editable. The six-minute instructional video on Amazon makes it look like it actually takes some effort to make the Kindle edition of your book look good. Of course, how much effort you need to put in depends on a lot of characteristics about the book itself, such as its age, the quality of the printing and whether or not it includes illustrations.
The Kindle Convert software has a few other limitations as well. It's only available for PC users and those in the United States as of now. It also comes with a cost, although not a terribly expensive one, of $19 with the full price listed as $49.
All in all, it looks like a lot of work to make one print book Kindle ready, let alone your whole library. I was exhausted after just watching the six-minute instructional video for the program, to be honest. I think Amazon may have realized this, so the company includes an option to purchase the Kindle version of the book within the program in case you don't want to scan the whole thing. Sneaky, sneaky Amazon. You could always just use that flatbed scanner of yours to convert your book pages into PDFs, but what's nice about Kindle Convert is that it automatically allows you to load your scan into your Kindle.
However, it might be worth it to use on books that are out of print or ones that are old, super-special and that you want to preserve for years to come. You can even include personal annotations like signatures or notes in the books when you scan them. Or, if the thought of sitting at home on a Friday night and digitizing some print book pages gives you thrills, Kindle Convert will probably be your jam.