Warning -- tampering with these books may be hazardous to my conscience

Tracy Scott and friend
When I walk through the doors of a thrift store, a little chill goes through me. What unexpected treasure awaits? 

This weekend, I discovered a stack of treasures -- books that are so unusual and kitschy, I'm not sure I should tear them apart to make something new. But they'd get lost on my bookshelves. If I upcycle them, then others will get to enjoy their kitsch. What to do?

Blinded me with science

I found the first set of books not at a thrift store, but at an estate sale. A friend's neighbor recently died and her family opened her mid-century Ballard home to sell her possessions. I passed by the giant wooden spoon and fork on the wall and made a beeline for the bookshelves. 

My first find was a science textbook. In perfect condition.
Modern Physical Science textbook 1957
A RED rocket? What is this, a Commie conspiracy?
I love the bright colors. And look at that tiny man waving at the giant rocket. This certainly seems like science at its most modern! Modern a la 1957!
mad scientists
Isolating the chemical that keeps women out of science -- TESTOTERONE!
A few shelves down I spied another textbook.
math textbook 1956
The price of bridges and cubes keeps going up up up!
Apparently, real-life arithmetic equips you for baking, bridge-building, and block-drawing. That poor woman is trapped in her trapezoidal kitchen, measuring her dry goods in cups and spoonfuls instead of grams. This book was also in perfect condition and a year older. I flipped through its contents -- the practical tips would be useful even today.
stock market in 1956
Our cover girl breaks free of her kitchen to enter the world of high finance!

Nurses and atomicars and tribesman, oh my!

The other book treasures I found this weekend were lighter fare. These were kids books, tucked away in a bottom shelf at my favorite Goodwill. First was a Tom Swift story.
Tom Swift and his atomic car
Back to the future in my Oldsmobile
I'd met Tom before. He's a science geek, like the cartoon character Dexter. He invents all kinds of strange things, mostly speedy vehicles that are almost always radioactive. In this volume, he's created an atomic-powered car that works on land, water and in air -- a triphibian atomicar!

Who are those mustached men on horses? Tribesmen from the "untamed Asian land of Kabulistan." Tom and his friends have been charged with helping the new republic develop its natural resources (sound familiar?) But how does that explain THIS?
Illustration from Tom Swift book
You brand 'em sittin' down, apparently.
Geek humor, I guess.

The last book might be my favorite. Everything about it is right. Or wrong, depending on how you look at it.
Tracy Scott book
Very very special
"Blond, blue-eyed Tracy Scott gazed up at young Dr. Hardwick and smiled wistfully. He cared for her, and the knowledge made her ecstatic one moment, panicky the next...There were obstacles, and not least of these of them was her moody, wildly jealous roommate." That's our introduction to this "Very Special Girl." Wow!

I love the pastel pink cover. I love Tracy's wide-mouthed, Julie Andrews smile. And most of all, I love the way she's holding that Kachina doll. Like it's a trophy or bottle of wine she's trying to sell.
Tracy Scott book
Yes, Dr. Hardwick's steamy stare IS stronger than gravity!
So you see why I love these books. I'm too young (barely) to remember the world they depict, but old enough to feel nostalgic. Should I bring them into the 21st century by turning them into tablet cases? Or should I leave them intact, to tell the story from an earlier time?