The books are actually a test to see how you can texture both sides of a single plane. The model was made of NURBS instead of polygons so when trying to do this to a polygon it might be a little more difficult.
Character Rim Light Shader
Using a 'Rim Shader' is basically having a ramp Shader applied to a material Incandescence so only the colors that are not transparent will show up on the model, giving a false lighting effect with no lighting.
The X-Ray shader is an extremely interesting concept, it allows the creator to assign a texture where parts of a model the are more curved that others to be able to show up much harsher, giving this X-Ray. A glow has been applied to this model and an ambient light has also been added so that is why the model is as bright as it is.