DIY Bookscanner Kit arrived

I love books. Real books, made of paper, ideally hard cover and properly bound with needle and thread. And I have assembled a nice library over time.

On the other hand, due to peculiar choices of where to live and where to work, and due to the nature of my job, I essentially live on the road and in the air. That is incompatible with carrying around heavy, beautiful and sensitive books.

Over the years I have more and more reduced the weight of my backpack and recent improvements in  offline reading apps for the magazines I read (C’t, Make Magazine, Nature) make it possible that I can now read all of them in the air and offline on my iPad without carrying around the paper and its weight. At any given time, however, I am also reading a book from my tall FIFO stack of books. Buying them as ebooks is not an option for me, due to my love for physical books and other concerns about DRM and loss of access.

Due to another passion, Makeing, Open Source Software and Open Hardware, I came across the fantastic DIYBookScanner project. After Daniel Reetz, a key figure of this movement, released the plans for an open hardware standard bookscanner kit, I knew it was time. Because of time constraints, I decided to buy pre-cut parts from I hope to build one from scratch soon at MakeSpace Cambridge.

But for now I would like to report on my progress with the book scanner kit from I decided to buy the base kit and get the cameras, foot pedal and USB hub from Amazon.

The kit arrived in a nice, light and compact package. The purchase includes video chat support for the assembly, which I didn’t need due to the extensive online documentation.

DYIBookscanner parcel

Parts where each wrapped in shrink wrap.



I will report on putting this together in a following post. For now I would like to congratulate the folks at for their excellent product.

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