Scanner recommendations (for scanning book covers)


Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2013
I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for a good scanner? I'm keen to buy something of a pretty high standard, just as long as it can fit on my desk and doesn't break the bank.

It will primarily be used to scan book covers. So I'm after something that gives a clear image (goes without saying I guess), and that doesn't lose any colour.

So far the only advice I've been given is to look for a dedicated scanner and not a printer/scanner combo, which is understandable.

Does anyone have any experience of scanning book covers, that they'd care to share?

Your help is appreciated!
I've always had good experiences with Canon's line of CanoScan scanners (in fact, I'd recommend Canon for any home office equipment. I've tried a lot of different makes of printers and scanners, but I always come back to Canon).

Mine is a CanoScan LiDE 90 - USB, goes up to 600dpi (does an A4 page at that resolution in about 20 seconds), can scan to an image, single-page PDF, or multi-page PDF, and straight to the printer. The software is pretty simple to use, too.

The newer models (I've had mine for getting on seven years) can go up to crazy resolutions, which is useful if you want high quality scans, and start from about £50 (for the CanoScan LiDE 110).
canon makes cameras as well as scanners. they have a range of sizes available. When i got mine there was an adobe acrobat and a paint program included. another good one is toshiba, but i try to stick with canon, personally. i believe the image quality is better because of their long experience in all forms of image processing and familiarity with requirements necessary in a scanned file for printing purposes.

[ yay! lenny! a fellow cano-phile! :)]
Thanks chaps!

I've got access to a Canon scanner I think, an MP460. It's quite a few years old now, but maybe I'll give it a whirl and do some tests.

I've had a look over the LiDE models, they do look good. I think I'll go for one of them in the end...

One more question - have you had experience of scanning larger books in these? Large paperbacks for example. I was wondering how they cope with items that aren't small/thin paperbacks or magazines.
you can take the scan lid right off in most of them. it simply washes a little colour from the frame. it is a lot to do when using it for books. just remember to keep the object being scanned as flat as possible.
Another vote for Canon! And HP.

Every scanner I've had copes very well with anything - paintings, photos, text (though you need an OCR image-to-text converter if you want to scan text as text), etc. I can't see you having a problem scanning large paperbacks, if it fits onto the scanner.

Edit: Just seen reply before me. Yes, you can remove the scanner lid, if it helps, though the lid just swings anyway, so I just push the lid out the way or let it flop down onto the thing being scanned. Either way, really!
The lid is connected to the scanner body by a double hinge - it's essentially a flap that you can flip up to raise the lid about three-quarters of an inch off the scanner body.

The times when I have had to scan something thick, or that protrudes (for example a textbook spine), I just lay the lid on top at an angle and drape a dark towel over the scanner. Seems to work well enough!

As an example of mine (LiDE 90), I scanned Erikson's Deadhouse Gates (chosen because the cover is pretty awesome, and because the book is about two inches thick, so the lid didn't go down fully and let a lot of light in) at 600dpi (the max resolution the LiDE 90 will scan at) using the default settings for the Photo, Magazine, and Document types. I've had to crop the pictures down to show just the book cover, as they were over Imgur's 10mb limit, but otherwise this is how the full 600dpi resolution looks (if you hover over the image a cog appears in its top right corner. Click it, and you can choose to view full resolution -- though be aware that your browser may scale it to the window -- and to download full resolution), without any touchups or clever filter tricks:

Canon LiDE 90 Example - Imgur

EDIT: Looks like I've been ninja'd (very sedately, admittedly) whilst waiting for my images to upload!
Thanks so much for the responses everyone.

And big thanks to you Lenny for taking the effort to show me an example! That really is great quality, much better than I was imagining, which is really encouraging.

A friend has just asked me if I'm getting an A3 scanner, which is a good point because I will occasionally have magazines to scan. I've had a look at some of them, and they're just ever so slightly larger than A4.

Are the Canon LiDE scanners strictly A4, or is there a little wiggle-room? I think I'd need no more than an extra cm top and bottom. How frustrating, I was getting very excited about the LiDE and now there's a spanner in the works.
LTR (8.5" x 11") is the largest size they can scan.

This is an A4 page on the scanner:


My trusty ruler tells me there is 0.5" at the top, and 3/8" at the side.

EDIT: At the top, where the lid meets the scanner body, you can see that hinge I was talking about.
Every scanner I've ever owned (about six of them in all) have had a little wiggle room around an A4 page, just like Lenny's pic shows. :)
Hegg, you didn't mention the purpose for your need to scan book covers. Depending on what that is, you can save yourself a bunch of time and money by using what is already available.

Just about every book on Amazon has a scan of the cover. Those pics can be downloaded. In my library database I usually include a pic of the cover for every title. Downloaded them right off Amazon. Resized it. Put it into my database.
Leisha, thanks for the reassurance. Lenny, you've gone above and beyond yet again! I can't thank you enough for your help today, you've really gone out of your way and I appreciate it so much. I'm feeling very good about which scanner to get, and I'm confident that it will do what I need. I'm just going to have a final think about my budget, and then I'm on my way.

Gordian Knot - yes that probably would have helped! In short, I have recently started my own online bookshop, and up to now I've been photographing the book covers for each listing. I'm in the process of trying to speed up how long it all takes me, hence asking about a good scanner. So yes, afraid I definitely have to do the deed myself and take good pics/scans of the books, as I will only use actual images of what I'm selling. I didn't mention this originally as my post count isn't very high and I'm wary of appearing to be advertising on here without getting more involved.

Just want to say again how refreshing this thread has been. After a strenuous few days dealing with various ebay shenanigans, it's been so nice to deal with such friendly and helpful people.

Brief update. I ended up buying a Canon LiDE 210, for £60. I set it up last night and ran some tests, and have been using it all day today as intended - it's super! I'm getting great results, and it's really easy to use.

Thanks again for the recommendations.

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