Remember when you first got an iPod and ripped all your CDs onto your computer? It seemed like an annoying yet necessary step. The benefits of having all your music on your computer so you could take it on the go far outweighed the cost/time/energy of converting your CDs to MP3s. Plus it was nice to get rid of all those bulky plastic cases. But would you do the same for your books?
The Chronicle spoke to one professor who is digitizing his personal library to free up space in his overflowing apartment. The process isn't for the book-loving faint of heart. He's slicing off the covers and bindings and running the pages through a scanner, destroying the original book. It's basically the same process Google uses to digitize books for their archive, but then they're Google and can hire an army of engineers to do the work. He's saving money on buying a new digital copy, but is all that trouble worth it?