Every Prepper Needs a Good Reference Library

libraryIt seems like at least once or twice a day I am on the internet looking something up.  It is a great reference source.  We have a huge amount of information at our fingertips.  Now I remember the time before the internet, you had to have books at home or go to the library.  Information was harder to get.

You used to see books in people’s homes and they read them.  Today many people no longer own more than a few books.  Why bother when all the information you could ever want is readily available on the internet.  In many areas, even the library services are being reduced.

If you are a prepper, you need to have some access to books for when the internet fails.  Other that possessing books and stored information you will have to depend on what you know.  Libraries can be at your bug out location or in your home if you are planning to bug in.  Now I like to think that I have a reasonably wide base of knowledge, but the truth is I have to look up things every day.

Now when I am talking about a library I am not referring to the typical list of survival, medical and firearms books that many of us own.  We will need books that will help us rebuild society.

This means a library of books covering the following areas

  • Homeschool Books – including math, reading, chemistry and history. Get older history books that predate political correctness.
  • A good set of encyclopedias, before the internet this was our go to resource.
  • Medical books – from first aid to advanced, be sure to include a PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) of both natural and manmade medicines.
  • Gardening books – make sure they cover insects and plant diseases.
  • Old homesteading manuals – Many of these from the late 1800 to early 1900’s can be downloaded and printed from the internet.
  • Engineering and technology books – get anything that you think will be useful
  • Survival and woodcraft books – These you probably already have.
  • Books on different trades including carpentry, plumbing and electricity.
  • Automotive repair manuals.
  • Books on forging and blacksmithing.
  • Books that teach good values, for me that is my religious books including the bible. For you it may be different.  But the idea is to teach morality to our children or grandchildren.
  • Some good fiction to help expand the mind.
  • Depending on the trade you currently pursue you want to have the books so you will be able to teach it to others.

The bottom line is that you are trying to build a library that won’t only help you to survive, but will help you to rebuild.


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8 Responses to Every Prepper Needs a Good Reference Library

  1. Joe Friday says:

    I completely agree. I have digital copies of many articles but have printed out most in case I don’t have access to them due to no power or an EMP. Quite a few are organized into 3-ring binders by category so I can find them quickly. As a compliment to you I have many of your articles in those binders. As I have said before your site is VERY helpful and I visit it daily.

    Thank you for all you do.

  2. Joe Friday fan says:

    Joe, you read my mind! I was in the process of creating a binder until I lost access to a printer. Luckily I already had accumulated some stuff, but not nearly enough. Now I worry about overkill. I’ve collected a list of about 150 topics from websites that I’ve meant to print but having to handwrite them would be tedious in the extreme, and so I’m having to limit it to those things I consider the very most important.
    Thanks for a thoughtful blog!

  3. Garmo says:

    We may not be able to use our saved topics on our memory sticks. I have been printing info off and putting it in 3 ring binders. The best thing to do is go thru and find the most important info and put it up so if you have to BUG out you have it available. In the future this type of info may be a life line to some that don’t know how to and what to do.
    Thank to all who input what they do. Gman

    • Charles says:

      As an alternative, you might consider using bookbinding services such as those offered by Kinkos or FEDEX. There are many others that may even be more economical. I have created several notebooks that have hard covers and are wire-bound. This is more durable than 3-ring binders and costs only a few dollars each. The clear plastic cover allows you to place a Table Of Contents in plain view.

  4. GardenNut says:

    For a list of books indexed by category from when the knowledge was still in active use try: http://www.survivorlibrary.com/?page_id=1014

    He posts full pdfs of books from the 1800-early 1900s of pretty much every useful topic under the sun. You can print them out or just track down print copies of them. It’s incredibly useful especially for deciding which books to order for physical copies and which to pass since you can read them entire.

  5. Charles Lewis says:

    Having references is very important. As a teacher and clinician I have a monstrous stack of books on many subjects (cir 3000). Knowing what is in those books is equally important! There are many references that are either wrong or dangerous, or both! To make the best use of source material one must either have a working knowledge of the subject or have access to someone who does. My ability to use tools is not likely to improve by reading a manual. However, I have family members who are quite good at using tools. I collect tools! When a disaster occurs, this is not the time to read a first aid manual before attempting to take care of someone who has been badly injured and bleeding. All of these manuals take you to a point where you are told to stop and await professional medical assistance! The grid is down and they ain’t coming! My point is the same in both cases: knowing some basic principles can be a good thing but neither is likely to benefit from cook book management. On the other hand, you may be the only chance that the person or car has to get up and go. This circles back to the beginning: a first aid manual is not intended for a grid down scenario. However, there are some great resources such as the manual by Dr. Bones (Joe Alton and his wife Amy) Doom and Bloom or the more esoteric Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook where both include information on treating severe illnesses and injuries. These are but two of many examples. The list above is a thoughtful one and covers a spectrum of material that will be needed to rebuild a society. I have started building a list of friends and relatives who have knowledge and expertise in those areas. That is how I believe that societies will be rebuilt after the government either doesn’t show up or leaves after the threat is mitigated. This is not a slam on government, just a statement of reality.
    I have recently started watching the tv show Naked and Afraid and have learned from this that so-called survival experts cannot always start a fire in a rain forest using survival tools. That is a wake up call.

    “Those who fail to know the past are doomed to repeat it”. (Santayana-A Life of Reason) or Ray Bradbury-Fahrenheit 451

  6. Survival Notebook says:

    CutePDf Writer is a program that you can download for free. It works like a printer, but it turns the print job into a PDF. These can then be saved to a tablet, smart phone etc.

  7. Grammy says:

    I collect old cooking books, by that I mean those that predate 1900. You might be surprised at the information in them that pertains to the prepper movement. Some of the medical advice and recipes can be a bit horrifing but you can find a whole lot of valuable information in them. This includes food preservation that you can’t find in modern society. Years ago I took a 1700s copy to my food safety class and asked my instructor about the “canning ” instructions, in this case layering fat and vegetables and fat and meat, then placing the crocks in a cool cellar. Her answer was that there was no reason why it would not work. Same principles at play there as in modern canning. Heat and expelling air. Now days when you cook meat and layer it with fat t hen put it in a cool place it is called confit. If you have ever heard or had duck confit guess where tis process came from.

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