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On the topic of books and having a library:

Books never die
Books never get sick
Books are ageless
Books never get mad
Books never talk back
Books never pick a fight
Books never get hungry
Books never complain
Books never get tired

My grandfather passed away in May of 2007. One of the things I received was his book collection. Its more books then a lot of people hope to read in their lifetime. Most of the books are history books - American Civil War, Texas history and Native American History. I'am not at home right now, so I can not give an "exact" list.

One book from my grandfathers collection that I'am reading right now is "The Raven: A Biography of Sam Houston". The part I'am in is just after Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the battle of San Jacinto, and stephen F Austin has died because of some illness.

The book before that was "Caesar: Life of a Colossus" by Adrian Goldsworthy. Through this book I learned that the lust for gold, money and power are timeless. Its amazing what people and governments will do for money. Whether its invading another country to steal its resources, to killing political opponents - the violence that mankind inflicts upon itself never ceases to amaze me.

The book before that was "Return of the Black Death: The World's Greatest Serial Killer"

A video I put together about books and planning for an outbreak of infectious disease. While looking through my youtube video collection, I realized that I do not have any videos about books besides the plague. So I'am going to have to fix that problem.



A lot of people seem to focus on works of fiction. Personally I prefer non-fiction books, ones based on historical facts.

A couple of the books I received from the members of this community include "Back to Basics" and "Square foot gardening" and ""Survival Handbook, Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure".

My medical books include 3 desktop physicians reference books. These are the big ones that are like 3 inches thick.

My gardening books include a couple of farmers almanacs, square foot gardening, and Back to Basics. The Back to Basics book is on my desk, but I can not think of the author right now.

Books on the plague include 4 books.

The history books (thanks to my grandfather) include all kinds of books.

Wilderness survival manuals include US Army FM21-76 and the SAS survival Manual. The FM21-76 is around 25 years old and been brought with me on countless hiking and camping trips.

One book that I really enjoyed was "Undaunted Courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West" by Stephen Ambrose. It was probably one of the best books that I have ever read. For anyone interested in American history, native American history or even Thomas Jefferson, this is a must read.

One issue that Undaunted Courage touched on that I found of great interest, is how diseases affected the native American Indians. During the journey, the party of Lewis and Clark found Indian camps where only a few people alive - everyone else had been killed by diseases like small pox. Some of the Indians started following the party - when a deer was killed the Indians would rip it apart with their bare hands and eat it raw. This was because the Indians were starving.

I just could not imagine being so hungry that I would eat raw intestines from an animal. Some of the Indians were so hungry that they would tear out the deers intestines, eat them raw, and as they were eating the intestines, be squeezing the feces out the other end.

If you have the time, "Alaska: A Novel" by James A. Michener is a good read. This one can get a little long and drawn out. Expect to spend a couple of months reading this book - its around 1,100 pages.

The books about the Black Death brought sorrow to my heart. The stories of families dieing, and how people treated each other during those times. Whether it was rounding up the Jews and burning them because the people thought the Jews caused the plague, to cannibalism - parents killed their children, children killed their parents, graves were dug up,,,,, all in the quest for food.
 

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I agree with Kev on this I think it will be an invaluable source of information should ever the shtf. We are thinking of picking up some this year at garage sales. Right now we have tons of gardening books, some electrical, some plumbing and some older books I also inherited from my grandfather. I would like to add some basic history books, math books and some science books to round out our library.
 

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One book that I really enjoyed was "Undaunted Courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West" by Stephen Ambrose. It was probably one of the best books that I have ever read. For anyone interested in American history, native American history or even Thomas Jefferson, this is a must read.

About a week ago I picked this out of my bookshelf and decided it was the next to go on the nightstand for a re-read.
 

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Books are great. I have about 60 cookbooks with recipes from chefs all over the world, explaining how to cook all kinds of foods. I even have one from the top chef from the 1931 World's Fair Italian Pavillion, with great recipes from Italy.

I also have a great collection of books regarding music production and software programs. As a matter of fact I have a new one on order which should be here next week.

Educational DVD's is another thing that I'm into, because they SHOW YOU how to do things.

I've found the internet to be a fantastic source of information, including medical and first aid related topics. Just goto Mayo Clinic.com and you'll see what I mean.
 

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I have three books in my BOB. I keep them handy no matter what. I knew of them, but they were hard to find. Eventually I got all three. They are "Where there is no doctor", "Where there is no dentist", and "Where there is no vet". There were written, from what I could tell, for the use in third world nations. If your on your own with no medical personel around these could come in handy.
 

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Something absolutely necessary for families with children is The Bookhouse series, ed. by Olive Beaupre' Miller. They came out in the early 20th century through about the mid 20th century and are still available on Amazon. She also edited a series called A Picturesque Tale of Progress (nothing to do with progressivism), which is a survey of world history made palatable for children (and adults). Any child read to and reading these books as he or she grows up will be better educated than most college graduates are today. (ok, you will need some other curriculum for math and science.) Maybe one good thing about bad times is that people will start reading to their kids again; kids don't care if we are good at it. PS: the Where there is no Doctor series is available from Lehman's.com.
 

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I have around 200 books in my house. They range from survival skills, sewing crafts, chooking, fiction, and historys of the world. On top of that I have about 100 magazines that I keep for referance.

Reading is quiet time to myself and an escape from where I'm at to where I want to be.
 

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I have always had a library in one form or the other. I try to keep a variety of non fiction, fiction, how to etc. IMO the best books are fictional stories, based in non fictional events and characters. Herman Wouk and Tom Clancy do this best.
 

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Just in case the Internets aren't working pshtf, I have an Encyclopedia Britannica, plus the rest of our little library; 95% or more is how-to. Bookstores and used book sales are two of my weaknesses and frequently books are all that's on my list at Christmas...
 

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I have over 700 books in my library, mostly reference; gardening, herbal medicine, general reference, history, politics, & military. Very few fiction books.
 

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Reading

I was an only child, all I had was books and the woods I grew up in.

I was an avid reader before I ever saw a television.

I always preferred non-fiction to fiction.

I've done so much traveling in my life, almost all my books got too heavy to carry at some point, so they are lost except for what I still carry in my head.

I see kids every day that don't have a clue as to what is five feet in front of them, they are working their opposable thumbs on texting rather than using their thumbs to turn pages of a book.
 

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I agree also books are great. I would suggest the book "One Second After" for everyone to read. Puts things in perspective on why we are here on the boards and the importance of gaining knowledge whether from books, or others on wonderful boards like this one.
 

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Just in case the Internets aren't working pshtf, I have an Encyclopedia Britannica, plus the rest of our little library; 95% or more is how-to. Bookstores and used book sales are two of my weaknesses and frequently books are all that's on my list at Christmas...
Excellent idea. Encyclopedias should be an easy and cheap pick up at garage sales. Thats all we used when I was in school.

I also like the Home Depot 1-2-3- basics book for home repair.
 

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I believe the Back to Basics book you're talking about is authored by Abigail Gehring. Does it look something like this?
I think thats it. I'll have to check when I get home.
 

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I've been a bookworm since I was a kid. I also prefer non fiction because you learn something from it, rather than just being chewing gum for the brain. My library is mostly gardening, herbal and alternative medicines, how to do it/make it, wild plant and mushroom recognition, cookbooks, etc. In the last few years I've been concentrating on textbooks but considering all of them out there, I'm not even off to a good start yet.
 

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books are my disease. last time i moved house, i had, between me and my wife, 6,000 pounds of books. seriously. i love both fiction and non-fiction. i love to learn new things, but i also enjoy the sheer pleasure of losing myself in a well told story.

i am often inspired and struck by new ideas i would have never thought of reading some fiction, so i end up learning from fiction as well, only in a more round-about way.

one non-fiction book that i would recommend to anyone interested in survival are:

In The Heart Of The Sea: The Tragedy Of The Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick - great look into how desperate people can get, what they do, and the effects of what they do. interesting how they had to resort to cannibalism and how it affected them later.

i figure, if nothing else, i have enough books to build a solid thick wall and to burn for heat if i absolutely had to.
 

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I've thinned out a lot of my books, kept the homesteading DIY books and the veterinary/medical tomes. Only a few of the classics are with me now.
Gotta finish my shelving before I'll have room for many more.
 
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