In a country where space is at a premium Japan has gone where I couldn't bring myself to go and several conversion services are springing up that cut the spines from books and then scan the stack of pages to electronic formats. The books are then thrown away so they cannot be sold as second hand, this is literally a conversion service!
The book scanners that interest me are non-destructive and use a angled tray to hold the book while two cameras take pictures of the opposing pages. It is much slower than the above mentioned process but the only method I would consider with rare books.
Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s cramped living conditions and the arrival of Apple Inc.'s iPad in May have spawned as many as 60 companies offering to turn paper books into e-books as Japanese publishers have been slow to provide content for new electronic readers.
The country's $24 billion market for paper books and magazines, the world’s largest, may see an explosion in e-books as Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy Tab tablet computer and readers by Sharp Corp. and Sony Corp. take on Apple Inc.'s iPad. Mike Firn reports from Tokyo for Bloomberg Television.