Step 2: Material Acquisition: Tools and Why You (Might) Need Them
Often construction dumpsters have objects that are awkward to grab or even too large to fit in a car. For this reason it is good practice to bring some tools. I have a drill and a "sawzall" that come with me when I'm dumpster diving. With these tools, I can remove interesting parts of things, salvage screws and hardware, etc, as well as cut boards in half if they are too big to fit in my car. You should also have a flashlight and heavy gloves to protect your hands.
In terms of this project, I would argue that using recycled materials is actually only a secondary benefit because the environmental benefits of using digital books really add up over time. Using recycled junk isn't just a challenge, it makes walks and watching purposeful, lightens the load on landfills and trucks, and makes up for other areas where you may not be as conscious as you'd like to be. It also sets the precedent that while finding everything at the Home Depot or hardware store is fine, finding the stuff out of the ether is far better.