I'm fine-tuning the process of scanning documents and saving them in a format that preserves the layout of the document but takes up much, much less disk space than a pure image.
It looks like the best, most universal format for doing this is the ".pdf" format, which you can view with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader. It looks like a sixty page owner's manual works out to about one megabyte or so in this format--at that size, an entire manual will downoad in five or ten minutes over typical modems and will fit on a single floppy disk!
Have a look at a quarter of my 1969 owner's manual. Note that I did something nutty that degraded the picture quality; future additions will be much sharper (though this one is just fine). Remember that you'll need Acrobat Reader to view this file! The key thing here is that text really is text, not an image--this is the key to saving space. Here's the first example:
1969 VW Type III Owner's Manual through page 15; file size = 321K bytes
This document is: http://vwtype3.org/literature/manuals/1969/index.shtml
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