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Is it possible to apply Mathematica's image processing capabilities for extracting regions of book pages that are covered by text, e.g. by a combination of blurring and binarizing, or better? Also the faster the better.

Here is a possible input and (approximate) output.

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  • $\begingroup$ @rasher Bluring, binarizing (as mentioned), and various filters mentioned under segmentation analysis. Unfortunately, the results are no good (not worth posting). $\endgroup$ – Drux Mar 13 '15 at 6:37
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If you want a quick&dirty method, CornerFilter might be a good place to start:

img = Import["http://i.stack.imgur.com/HVRea.png"];
corners = CornerFilter[img, 2];
mask = DeleteSmallComponents[
   Closing[MorphologicalBinarize[corners, {0.2, 1}*10^-4], 
    DiskMatrix[2]]];

HighlightImage[img, mask]

enter image description here

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