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Amazon wants to make it easier for people to get their old books digitized and onto a Kindle.

The company just launched a new Kindle Convert app for Windows PCs that allows people to take in scans of a text and convert it into a file that they can then save to their Kindle account and access from the company’s e-reading platform. (The app was spotted by the Ink, Bits and Pixels blog.)

a0dbe0d0-720c-4444-af75-8e1183b61f1d._V330449281_Converting a book means that users get access to a whole suite of features included in books they buy from the Kindle Store, including the ability to search the text, get definitions from Amazon’s dictionary, and save digital annotations in Amazon’s cloud. The app is supposed to preserve details that are personal to the book as well, like autographs and hand-written notes. Kindle Convert’s capabilities come with a cost: the app is priced at $19.99 (on sale from $49.99).

Luckily users won’t have to shell out for an ultra-high-end scanner. The app’s system requirements just say that it needs a scanner that can output a PDF, JPEG or TIFF file between 300 and 600 DPI, with 24-bit depth for color scans and 8-bit depth for grayscale or black and white scans.

One of the biggest risks with print books is that they can get easily damaged or lost. Amazon’s app should let people keep a backup copy that keeps much of the character of the original while adding interesting digital capabilities.

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