I collect lots of documents as part of my work; recently I decided I should let the sheets of ‘tree stuff’ return to the environment and clear up my living space and office by scanning everything I could. I had recently got rid of a flat bed scanner; it was far too slow and I hardly ever used it. I needed something that was convenient and fast; it didn't need to make ultra high fidelity scans, just readable would do.
For some time I had been photographing some documents instead of scanning them; it was quick and convenient, but hand held was slow and a bit ‘hit and miss’. Photographing documents is nothing new:http://www.subchaser.org/photographing-documentshttp://www.rideau-info.com/genealogy/digital/copying.htmlhttp://www.photoethnography.com/blog/archives/2005/08/fieldnotes_phot.htmlhttp://www.instructables.com/id/Yokozuna-Ninja-Booming-Grip-of-Righteousness-Came/http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cafamilies/reference/photo_doc.htmlhttp://www.instructables.com/id/Copy_stand/http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-High-Speed-Book-Scanner-from-Trash-and-Cheap-C/
(and many more)
Most of these setups had some convenience problems for my use; I needed a more or less permanent compact setup that I could pump a few thousand documents through quickly to catch up with the backlog, and then handle the day to day accumulation. Some of the links above refer to the use of commercial copy stands. Many of these are now surplus from old darkroom enlargers. eBay had quite few copy stands for sale but they were too big, too expensive (postage) or not quite right for A4 pages. I decided to make one myself preferably using bits and pieces from around my house (yes I am a hoarder).