FW Exclusive: Andrew Beccone Reveals 9 of the Coolest Books You’ve Never Seen


The REANIMATION LIBRARY is a small, independent collection based in BROOKLYN where you can find a strange collection of books that have fallen out of mainstream circulation. In the beginning it was just a personal resource for ANDREW BECCONE — a young indie musician who scanned art from random old books to create fliers for his band. But now the space is open to the public, so that artists, writers, and other cultural archeologists can use the books as source material.

Before you make the field trip to Gowanus, check out a sampling of some of Beccone’s favorite finds after the jump.

Title: The Guide to Pyramid Energy Author: Bill Kerrell and Kathy Goggin Publisher: Santa Monica, CA: Pyramid Power – V, Inc., 1975 Call Number: BF1999 .K437 A donation from my brother. Tons of great advice for anyone who might want to live under a pyramid in California in the 1970s.

Title: A Guide to Science and Index to the Life Science Library Author: The Editors of Time-Life Books Publisher: New York, NY: Time-Life Books, 1967 Call Number: Q162 .G89 The Life Science Library is completely amazing and the Reanimation Library contains many books from the series, but as a librarian and a nerd, I could hardly contain my excitement when I found the index.

Title: A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates Author: The RAND Corporation Publisher: Glencoe, IL: The Free Press, 1955 Call Number: QA276.5 .R3 After learning about this book, I set aside my resistance to online acquisitions and bought this through abebooks.com. The title says it all; the book consists of a sequence of 1,000,000 random digits stretched over 200 pages. Totally fantastic.

Title: Freeze-Drying Biological Specimens: A Laboratory Manual Author: Rolland O. Hower Publisher: Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979 Call Number: QH324.9 .C7 H68 I found this at a used bookstore in Cambridge, Mass., a few years ago. It presents a particularly tasty alternative to taxidermy for those inclined to preserve and present biological specimens.

Title: Bionic Parts for People: The Real Story of Artificial Organs and Replacement Parts Author: Gloria Skurzynski Publisher: New York, NY: Four Winds Press, 1978 Call Number: RD130 .S58 One of many great finds in the truly exceptional thrift stores of Albuquerque, NM, this book tells the story of human organ replacement in a gentle way that the whole family will enjoy.

Title: Guia Medica del Hogar: Moderna Medicina Natural: Enciclopedia de la Salud Indispensable para las Familias Author: Adrian Vander Publisher: Barcelona, Spain: Ediciones Adrian Vander Put, 1973 Call Number: RZ433 .V36 1987 I found this gem in a used bookstore in Granada, Spain. As I don’t read or speak a lick of Spanish, I’m not exactly sure what the actual story is with this book, but it seems to be promoting a utopian health regiment in the vein of John Harvey Kellogg’s Western Health Reform Institute. Lavishly and strangely illustrated.

Title: Harvesting Your Milk Crop: A Discussion of the Mechanical and Physical Factors which Influence Machine Milking Efficiency Author: Charles W. Turner Publisher: Oak Brook, IL: Babson Bros. Dairy Research and Educational Service, 1981 Call Number: SF240 .T8 I mean, this one comes in handy so often that it’s hard not to love.

Title: How Do They Get Rid of It? Author: Suzanne Hilton Publisher: Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1970 Call Number: TD792 .H55 1970 Purchased from a Salvation Army in downtown Los Angeles, this book explains how unusual items such as tanks, airplanes, and large industrial machinery are disposed of.

Title: The Handbook of Doll Repair and Restoration Author: Westfall, Marty. Publisher: New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1979 Call Number: TT175 .W47 Creepy. Creepy, creepy, creepy. This book unintentionally makes a really great case against repairing dolls.