About Daniel


Daniel Reetz is a book lover, hacker, and fast prototyper. He is the founder of DIYBookScanner.org and ran the site from 2009 until he retired in 2015. He spends his waking life making art, hacking cameras, and developing optical systems. Since 2003 he’s worked in R&D as an artist/engineer/researcher in industry and on NIH, NSF, and US D.o.Ed funded projects. Recently, he ended his four year stint as a Disney Researcher and Imagineer. While it’s nice to have cool jobs and fulfilling work, nothing on this site is related to his professional work for any company or project – this is purely his own work, and his own passion, made on his own time with his own resources. Opinions expressed here are his own, and aren’t legal advice.

You can find Daniel here.


For those of you with a little poetry in your souls:

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
— Oscar Wilde

“On the contrary, the contemporary is the person who perceives the darkness of his t i me as something that concerns him, as something that never ceases to engage him. Darkness is something that more than any light-turns directly and singularly toward him . The contemporary is the one whose eyes are struck by the beam of darkness that comes from his own time.”

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. – Oscar Wilde

May the bridges I burn light the way.

Live long, die fast.

“Mad people = People who stand alone and burn.
I’m attracted to them because they give me permission to do the same.”
— ― Susan Sontag

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to think they’re original. – me

“Metadata is a love note to the future.”

“Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in, Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards.”

“The question that we ask ourselves is, what protects you? What protects you in this world from sadness and from the loss of an ability to do something? For me, what protects me … is work and love. And I think that those two things cover pretty much every single thing. Because what you do, who you love, what you love, and what you do with your time is really the only question that you have to answer.”
— Maira Kalman

The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck.

I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there. – Oscar Wilde

“All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”
— Chuck Close

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
— sagan

“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame. How could you become new if you haven’t first become ashes?” -Nietzsche

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never”
— Søren Kierkegaard

“Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”


“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
— Jon Krakauer

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”
— Anatole France

“We believe that we can change the things around us in accordance with our desires—we believe it because otherwise we can see no favourable outcome. We do not think of the outcome which generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things in accordance with our desires, but gradually our desires change. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant to us. We have failed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us beyond it, and then if we turn round to gaze into the distance of the past, we can barely see it, so imperceptible has it become.”

“The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.”
— Nietzsche

“Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”
— Clay Shirky

“Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.”
– Marlon Brando

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”
— John Keats

“Individuals unplugging is not actually an answer to the biggest technological problems of our time just as any individual’s local, organic dietary habits don’t solve global agriculture’s issues”
— Alexis Madrigal

“There’s another trait on the side which I want to talk about; that trait is ambiguity. It took me a while to discover its importance. Most people like to believe something is or is not true. Great scientists tolerate ambiguity very well. They believe the theory enough to go ahead; they doubt it enough to notice the errors and faults so they can step forward and create the new replacement theory. If you believe too much you’ll never notice the flaws; if you doubt too much you won’t get started. It requires a lovely balance.”
— Richard Hamming

“I couldn’t help but recall a wise criminal lawyer’s (and friend’s) remarks: “Extricate yourself from the system, don’t try to vindicate yourself within it.”

“Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”

“What is to give light must endure burning.” – Viktor E. Frankl

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”
— Carl Sagan

Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then — the glory — so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.

“Ideas are like children. People love their own; and relatively few others.”

“Ideas are like children; there are none so wonderful as your own.”

“Ideas are like children. Everyone loves their own, best.”

“Ideas are like children… most of them are horrible”