Friday, August 19, 2011

Is this actually cost effective, I wonder?

There's a new service just arriving in the United States, based on one that exists already in Japan (we're so far behind!). 1DollarScan will convert your print material into PDFs and email the documents back to you as a file. And it only costs a dollar, as they claim (per chunk of material, mind you: War and Peace would not be a dollar scan.)  But I'm trying to figure out the point for most things. Your personal documents that you don't need print copies of but are too lazy to scan, yes, I understand the value. But your library? And that was why the service exists, because a Japanese businessman laboriously made digital versions of his large library and then thought that people would pay him for the service. Which, apparently, they will.

But look: you have to pay shipping. You don't get your materials back, unless you pay return shipping. And so I don't see how this works out to be at all useful or effective. But if it works in Japan, it's got to work here, right? I mean, sushi, Nintendo, nation wide public transit? Wait, strike that last one. That would actually be great. Instead we get book to PDF mail order. Sigh.

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