The first volume of the Books' story takes place in 1999 in a New York apartment building, where Paul de Jong and Nick Zammuto meet when they both happen to be living there. Cellist de Jong and artist/musician/cook/chemist Zammuto discover their mutual fascination with sound collection and collage and begin nosing through each other's extensive sample library. Fast forward to Volume Two, in which the Books relocate to Hot Springs, North Carolina, where they finish recording their first album in the basement of the inn where Zammuto is working. Their heady, hybrid concoction of acoustic instrumentation (banjo, cello, myriad guitars) and found sounds culled from sources such as DAT recordings, old films and the tape bin at the Salvation Army draws the attention of Tomlab Records and the acclaim of critics. Volume Three takes place in tiny, remote North Adams, Massachusetts, where the Books record both their second and third albums. The group's first-ever tour follows the release of Lost and Safe, featuring violist/fiddler Anne Doerner, a filing cabinet and accompanying video clips drawn from, among others sources, a tape of Japanese kids sumo wrestling in their living room.