EBooks

Some years ago I purchased a Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon. Back then, it was the second generation of its kind. I had plenty of e-books at that point which I had read mostly on my laptop or on my cell phone, but as an Amazon employee, I thought why not.

One of the downsides of a dedicated e-ink/e-reader device over traditional tablet devices is the poor support for PDF files. However one might argue that it is an advantage that e-ink devices provide simplicity for something that should be simple and distraction-free. I quickly learned that there was a large amount of content, however, that I could obtain online in the form of PDFs and wanted converted. I came across Abbyy FineReader, a proprietary software program for doing exactly such. FineReader is an OCR-based solution that attempts to “scan” a PDF and convert its contents to characters and images, to a relatively high degree of accuracy. Abbyy claims that its solution is the best available out there.

Which may, in fact, be true. But take a look at the following example of converting the DSM-5 to HTML using FineReader, and you’ll likely think otherwise. This is the result of hours of processing power on a MacBook Pro with a quad-core i7 processor: