Common from a person who spent years hacking out my own ways to talk to a database and talk to online API's and am only now starting to use frameworks, use them when you at least have an understanding of what their doing, if its possible.
Don't immediately jump for RedBean on your first time working with a database, work with the DB manually first. This way you have a thorough understanding of what your actually fetching and doing to the DB, which can really help with scalability. You also can then make your own solution when the framework your using doesn't do something you need to do.
Once you understand whats going on though, use a framework! It makes things so much easier. The crazyness with storing a query then looping over the results with
mysql_fetch_assoc is all gone, reduced to a single call:
$book = R::load( "book", $id ). You will be way more productive and can fix future bugs or add future features much easier.