Like many others my every waking moment is spent engaging in some type of task generally related to a much larger project with thousands of moving pieces. Reading books seems almost like a thing of the past in todays modern society which is quite unfortunate seeing that most true historical knowledge is still either in a physical book or pdf. format. With a calling that demands that I be as precise as possible when dealing with a wide range of subjects I cannot lean on gnosticism alone to unravel every topic. In short I’m not able to neglect reading the hundreds of books that fill my “must read” folder weekly. So I have taken to a certain procedure, which I will detail to you here, in order to continue expanding my knowledge base without sacrificing the time needed to maintain the Mission. World Enlightenment.
Is it Digitized or not?
This is the biggest question and in order to answer that question here are the characteristics of a digitized versus non-digitized book. If its a physical copy of a book it is not digitized. If it is a scanned in copy of a book although it is in .pdf format it is not digitized. If it was put together in some type of word processing application such as Microsoft Word then it is most likely digitized. You will need for your book to be digitized before it can be fed in to the Text-to-Speech applications mentioned later in this post.
How do I Digitize something?
Its not impossible to convert a book or writing in to digital format its only important to access the script and determine what route would be best. If its still in physical book format with the binding in tact it may be best to consider sending it to 1DollarScan a cheap solution for scanning and digitizing books especially those with hundreds of pages. 1DollarScan has special equipment to do this. You only need to consider that 1DollarScan will remove the spine from the book and you must request that the book be sent back to you. This somewhat destroys the physical book but you will have the OCR version which allows you to convert it in to being read by the TTS applications I’m going to mentioned further in this post.
Professional Book Scanner
Other alternatives are to scan it in yourself. This takes time, patience, and accuracy but it is possible. Pages should be scanned in at 300dpi (High Resolution) in order for OCR software to be able to read the print and convert it in to the final digital format. We will explain OCR software and its importance in a moment. The final thing to remember when scanning the book in yourself is the straighter the better. Because in most cases you will still have the spine on the book the thickness of the spine can often make your scan lopsided or the text fade when the scanner reaches the center of the book. Be sure to press the book firmly against the scanner to avoid this issue, you may also want to consider removing the spine and dissolving the glue that holds it together.
Final Note: While 1DollarScan and companies like it will send you the complete .pdf of your book if you scan in the book yourself you will be responsible for recompiling it in to a complete document since you will have as many separate files as you have pages i.e. if you have a 100 page book you will have 100 files. To accomplish this you can use Adobe Reader which is free. You can click here to find a tutorial on how to recompile your pages in Adobe Reader. In some cases scanners will actually do this for you, so check first before scanning a bunch of pages in order to skip a time consuming step in this process.
What is OCR (Optical Character Recognition)?
Now that the book is scanned in or if you have a scanned in copy of a book that is not digitized you will need to make it so the computer can recognize the text in order to make sure the Text-to-Speech software, which we will discuss in a moment, is able to read it. OCR software takes what is essentially a picture of a page with text and converts it in to actual digital characters that the computer can recognize. Generally you upload the .pdf to the OCR software, it reads the document page after page while converting it into characters and then exports the final work which is the file you will want to feed to your Reader. Here is the best OCR software that I have discovered. I’m not deterred from saying that some of these softwares can be found on KickassTorrents or The Piratebay if you are not in the financial position to acquire the software.
MAC: PDF OCR X If you are using a Mac don’t waste your time, this is the best out there and I know because I have tried them all. This software is free if you are scanning one page at a time and $29.99 for unlimited scans. If you really want to get that document digitized you can grind your way through it for free page after page or you can purchase the software for pretty cheap compared to how well it works and the other much more expensive competitors..
There are other OCR softwares out there some of which are web based which means you upload your document to the web and it makes the conversion for you and then sends you a download link. I haven’t been as successful with these types of online softwares especially for large runs but I wouldn’t deter you from trying as new companies and sites spring up overnight and I’ve had no need to look for other services in years.
The Best Reading or Text-to-Speech Software Period
The final step is the reader. The reason why I can take in so many books is I’m constantly listening to audio recordings of the books I’ve digitized just about anywhere. I even listen to books while I’m working out, in the shower, waiting in line, or anywhere that doesn’t require that I listen to everything going on. This has placed me light years ahead since I have access to amazing knowledge and wisdom on a consistent basis and also knowledge constantly pouring in to other channels like Archive.org around the clock. All this knowledge can then be taken through your filters by using the method explained above and then as a final step importing your file in to a Reader.
For MAC I use Ghostreader it not only can read books for you in the closest to human voice that you can find, it also can export audio files in .mp3 format directly to iTunes or to your desktop. You then only need to transfer it to your audio device and you are set. Ghostreader is so realistic I think the computer even takes a breathe between sentences. You can choose from different voices but I’ve found English/Alex to be more of my speed. Speaking of speed you can also adjust the speed settings. Something else I’ve discovered is sleeping does not exclude you from reading. Playing a book in your headphones or on open speakers at low volume while you are sleeping actually works for an approx. 35 – 60% retention. If you are really trying to get it in you can do so even when sleep.
For PC you can use Adobe Reader which has a reader built in to it, while not as smooth as Alex, it works. You can also click the following link to browse the top 10 free TTS (Text to Speech) softwares for PC and determine what works best for you. Because TTS is a key accessibility component for the blind you will find many free softwares available. http://elearningindustry.com/top-10-text-to-speech-tts-software-elearning
Other Amazing Methods
Spritzlet – Spritzlet is another amazing web application that few know about. It functions on the grammatical science that when reading we actually identify a few characters to determine the entire word, not the whole word. Spritzlet actually highlights the letters that are necessary for us to identify the word and through this method we are able to read through any document or post on the web lightening fast as if you were a speed reader. Spirtzlet has a plugin for the most popular browsers and can be activated at the click of a button. Spritzlet also has an app for your cellphone. You will find it here. http://www.spritzlet.com/
4K Video Downloader – While primarily a video downloader 4K video downloader is able to convert all videos found on youtube, Vimeo, and any popular video site in to audio. You can then take the audio file and import it in to your device. So if you have long presentations on youtube, like some of my shows, that you want to finish but need to do so on the run this is a perfect workflow to achieve just that. https://www.4kdownload.com/products/product-videodownloader
It is said that “by ignorance ye shall perish” so that means by intelligence and innovation we shall live consciously forever. I just wanted you to know that I’m with you, you are me, and I will always do my best and give you my best. In that I have done a great service to you and myself. Wholeness and Balance Vibrations!