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51 Comments

  1. I had been looking for a copy of” The Little Red Hen” for a couple of years. My wife bought one for my birthday this year but she said you probably won’t like it, to be politically correct they changed the end, the red hen shared with all her friends even though the hadn’t done any work. I almost cried! Thank goodness she was kidding, I would have had to use it for fire building material.

  2. I always thought I could make a pretty good living during TEOTHWAWKI with my sewing and mending skills. I even have a restored Singer hand-crank sewing machine for just-in-case. Thank you for reminding me to look into extra needles, belts, etc.

  3. Wonderful article about old books. I am addicted to collecting old books and have been for 60+ years. Especially history, geography, maps, classics (especially those handsome books with gilt lettering on cover), cookbooks – love those church lady cookbooks and ebay has many of them – old primers/textbooks, poetry, and on and on. A yard sale looms, and I go right for the books, and then the old glass and porcelain. TV is almost always OFF, internet sites give me the REAL news, and my Kindle is a best friend. But, REAL hard cover books my first love, and my best friend.

  4. Excellent article Marica!

    I’ve enjoyed reading your posts in various Preparedness sites and have learned from you.

    Stay vigilant and God Bless this once GREAT REPUBLIC!

  5. Great article. And great quote by Lyman Abbott.

    No one mentioned Amazon. I believe they have now captured the majority of print book sales. And they are expanding into the sale of used print books. Probably noting to see. Surely Jeff Bezos would never censor us like Facebook or twitter. He seems nice enough. /sarc

      1. JW, that is a smart move. I wish I could but most of my purchases are for a prison ministry.

        Get this. All Federal prisons (that I have dealt with) accept ONLY books from AMAZON and shipped DIRECTLY to them. They will not even accept used books from Amazon. There Is a wealth of information essentially censored by the federal government and denied to them. Many of these prisoners are working on their own legal defense.

  6. For comfort, and because they are also good starter sets for children, try a set of the Little House series and the Beany Malone series. Kindle and online text can be altered to conform to today’s diversity and inclusion requirements, which is why I have been slowly building my own library, including a Natural History book (animals, plants, rocks and trees) and one History of Ancient Civilizations book. Old high school level textbooks on arithmetic and English Literature and composition are good too (can’t tell you how many times I’ve winced, when reading books with terrible grammar and punctuation) Schoolhouse Rock, anyone?

    1. I have a complete set of the Beany Malone series on my shelf right now! Highly recommend for teen girls. Also have all the Little House books too.

  7. I’m enjoying the article so far. I certainly hope that under the tool category we do not miss that books themselves are the primary tool of the mind. They are not simply resources as a tool. Reading, above our current level, builds new neural pathways, increases IQ, teaches us to express ideas more precisely and therefore more clearly. Reading makes you smarter and this, as made in God’s image, is our foremost advantage both as humans in general but also as a civilization. Read complex and rich books.

    And, also write. Writing forces us to discover what we really believe and feel and think because it takes consideration to rightly express an idea. (stepping on my own toes here) A simple thought will manifest as a permanent cultural, historical, familial, governmental understanding if we write that thought down. Keeping a journal is good but not just a journal. Write is as though the grandchildren you will never meet need to get to know you and need how and why the world works.

    And, another, right down every instance where our LORD made himself known in the immediate, where you saw His work first hand and were stunned because He expressed it to you personally as a gift of the knowledge His making that result come to fruition. These are the most difficult things to express and will not only make you smarter but will build your Christian relationships with each other and with Father God.

    And finally, I’ll add this; throw your dumbed down and simplified NWO ‘translation’ of the bible in the garbage and get several, plain and without reference or comment of any form, King James Holy Bibles. No man need modify and modernize the things of the LORD. The Holy Spirit sent by Christ will guide you and edify you. Seek Him like your life depends on it, it does.

    1. Thank you.

      “I certainly hope that under the tool category we do not miss that books themselves are the primary tool of the mind.”

      Great point!

    2. If you are Catholic, get the Douai-Rheims version of the Bible. Like the King James, which is in part based on the earlier D-R, it is very literal and far more vivid than modern versions. It is like reading the Bible in hi-def. (Hey! I never noticed that before.)

      If you can find one, try to get a version that has English on one page, and Latin on the facing page. It is a wonderful way to learn the language.

      If you want one with commentary, try the Haycock edition of the Douai-Rheims.

      The footnotes in the Jerusalem Bible, scholars’ edition, are extremely good, but the introductions to the various books are pure modernist poison. Just use them for kindling.

      And whatever you do, do NOT get any Jerome Bible Commentary published after 1960. Scholarly heresy by the bucketful. The editor, Raymond Brown, repented of it before he died, but the damage was done.

  8. A wonderful article! I buy most of my books online from ABE Books.com. One can find almost anything there. I normally only buy used books and they are very affordable. Just wish I had more shelves. Also, one of the hard things about books, who wants them when I pass to the next world.

  9. Some people like to read books, just for the fun of reading. Other people read books for needed information. … The J.W. Rawles series of books, and a few other books, can provide information, entertainment, and possibly a ‘safe room’ in a house. = A library of books may provide some bullet protection.

    See = “Oklahoma police department fires guns into textbooks to see if they can stop bullets. Really.” The Washington Post, March 2, 2018. =
    “The Panama Police Department in Le Flore County, Okla., fired rounds from various guns into textbooks of varying thicknesses to see if they would stop the bullets. The results, according to KTUL News: Two books stopped a handgun fired at close range, and three stopped a round fired from an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.”

    Hickok45 on YouTube, June 11, 2015 ~500 S&W Magnum~ He fired that pistol at a thick Medical Textbook. The shot at the book started at 4min&15sec into the video. The bullet was stopped within a very thick book.
    ********************************************************************
    There might be an opportunity to become a Contributor to SurvivalBlog, by simply shooting bullets at old books. +Surely, some books are more bullet resistant, because of a hard cover to hold the pages tightly together, and the quality of the paper used for the pages.

      1. You’re a >nice person, Marica. … Maybe, some other readers would consider becoming a possible SurvivalBlog contributor by shooting just a few books. Besides encouraging the use of books for physical protection, it just might save many books from the landfill.

        “Books in the Landfill – An Avoidable Waste”
        “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) produces a biannual indepth report of materials in the solid waste stream, titled “Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures.” Books fall into the “Paper and Paperboard Non-durable Goods” category, and the 2009 EPA report indicates that while 33.3 percent of books in the waste stream are recovered, approximately 640,000 tons are discarded into the landfill. Books comprise roughly 0.4 percent of total municipal solid waste generation.” (2012)
        [From the NationalWildlifeFederation]

  10. The best place to buy affordable books is St. Vinnies. Their price is low and they have a ton of books. Plus, unlike Goodwill, their book are is organized by type of book and alphabetically by author.

  11. I love books & I love reading. Although I have many books, I’ll need to look for books specifically about Western civilization. & I need enough elementary education books for 1-2 teachers to open a small school at TEOTWAWKI. Today’s teachers tell me that almost all curriculum these days are electronic & online. I still believe tomorrow’s teachers will use old methods.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s column. & thank you, Marcia.

    1. Thank you! In a later part, I’ll talk about Will and Ariel Durant’s, “The Story of Civilization.” It’s an 11 volume set, usually way overpriced as a set, but you can pick up individual volumes fairly cheaply.

  12. Paul Harrel of youtube fame recently did a video on household items and their ability to stop rifle and pistol fire.

    The full book case did surprising well .

    1. Yes, … See ~Bulletproofing Your House – M4 Vs. Wall and Sideways Books.~ YouTube, April 21, 2010. VeryLowBudget Channel, “Ballistics expert Paul Harrell demonstrates how a wall and a bookshelf protects against an M4 assault rifle.”

      There is an excellent opportunity for someone to become a SurvivalBlog Contributor, by shooting bullets at books. … All Man-Created disasters don’t have to be a TEOTWAWKI event. In some strict gun control cities, the flying bullets zip through the neighborhoods day and night.

  13. Wife and myself have been collecting old how to books for several years. In the event of a grid down situation, we will have books to read how to do things instead of relying on a computer or electronic device that uses power. Just another back up system for “just in case”.

  14. Thanks for a great article! I’ve always thought that prepping should have four B’s (beans, bandaids, bullets and BOOKS). I very much agree with the goal of preserving the principles, culture and history of western/American civilization, and think that books are the best way to transmit that knowledge to the future uncorrupted an internet where history is rewritten daily.

    While the Encyclopedia Brittannica may not fit in a bug out bag, it belongs in any retreat. An older print version is a treasure trove and the only private publication that was regarded as so reliable that an entry could be used as evidence in court. If/When the world is changed forever, those 30 volumes contain the history, science, and practical knowledge that exceeds that of any current college education. My set (bought new in 1975) has substituted for access to a library on many occasions, and still acts as a fact-check on much of the current internet
    baloney.

    Yes, my cabin is also overflowing with old and new tool/how-to books and many, many book friends. Count me another kindred spirit–I’m looking forward to part 2!

    1. Thank you! I am a firm believer in redundancy– so I have multiple encyclopedia sets. It’s interesting to see how entries change over time. For good and bad. At one point, Marie Curie shared her husband’s entry.

  15. I called a book wholesale warehouse today looking for more copies of a book I’d bought there years ago. She pulled the books for me and we began to talk about this very subject. I bought a 10 x 20 building to turn into a library at our farm. I don’t mind loaning out my books to friends and relatives, but many times I forget who got them and then never get them back. In my library, just like a public library, each borrower will have to fill out a ‘checked out’ card for me to keep until they return the books.

    As my children were growing up, I told them ‘you don’t have to know everything, just how to find out’. No one person can know all that one needs to know in the event of a disaster, but the skill of a good researcher could be invaluable.

  16. The Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking Vol. 1 & 2, by Meta Givens are books I consider priceless. I have 2 copies of them. You won’t find better cookbooks anywhere.

  17. Yard sales ! At on sale, I picked up an entire box of Agatha Christie mysteries, approximately 31 of them. All for one price for the box, I think around $5. At another sale, I picked up 25 books by Robert Heinlein, including many that I had not read before. I have been collecting books from yard sales and thrift stores for years.

    1. Just in case society goes down completely and we need to start over, I have some technical books. I have some of the books from trade school where I studied manufacturing. I have books on mechanical drawing, strength of materials, manufacturing processes, machining, toolmaking, and more. I also have some basic schoolbooks- mathematics, geography, history, and others. Also a few children’s storybooks. And Bibles, hymnals, and even a manual of Christian (protestant) services. I only hope that someone in the next few generations can read.

  18. Totally agree with rat-holing your older books…before someone comes to burn them for “our own good.” We collected a substantial number of old textbooks from the 50’s and 60’s about 12 years ago and moved them to secure location. Good teaching tools for the next generation who likely don’t get much real American (or any other) true history in common core schools.

  19. Looking forward to part 2 also! My husband & I have been collecting books for ever…have a 40 foot cargo container almost full! But still looking for more!

  20. I found a Dear Abby type etiquette book at the Goodwill one time with two bullet holes in it. Wished I’d bought it just to laugh about.

  21. Great article! I could not agree more… you can never have too many books.

    I think knowledge is an essential commodity often over looked by preppers. Especially knowing how things were done before electricity.

    Furthermore, I believe its very possible we may have to rebuild civilization. Books on tools and manufacturing and science and gardening, etc. are important, but so are books on history and philosophy and government.

    You are going to need to teach your children and grandchildren what happened in the “before time.” Hopefully you can teach them what went wrong and how to avoid it in the future. Worst case scenario, there may be some future despotic government that really doesn’t want anyone to know what things were like in the past. Your books might be the last record of that time.

    On a practical note: you can’t carry a library of a few hundred books with you (although I’ll give it my best try if it comes to that.) However you can carry thousands of .pdf’s on a thumb drive. The only problem is you need a device like a laptop or a kindle to read them, and a way to recharge it. Also, be aware that thumb drives like any other media can fail, so you may want to make several back-up copies. And of course any computer can eventually fail.

    There are an amazing number of sources for free book downloads out there, many books even from the 1800’s and before. “Archive.org” is a great source which covers many libraries. “Google books” can be a good source, although many modern books (after about 1920) aren’t available for free download. “Gutenberg.org” is another good source. “Scribd.com” has some interesting material but you have to pay a nominal fee for access.

    A last word: be careful. There are scores of random “free” book download sites. I suspect many of them entice you to download a particularly interesting title, and then it downloads malware onto your computer. Stick with the public sources.

    1. You can also use a tablet with a lot of memory or a slot that you can add memory and use a free epub reader like Calibre (https://calibre-ebook.com/download_windows) to read your books and pdfs from. A tablet e/reader can be easily recharged with power provided by the sun.

      The install from your computer will also install Calibre on your tablet.

      Calibre also has a section of downloadable books (https://drmfree.calibre-ebook.com/by/genre) in 16 genres.

  22. A few copies of THE POCKET REFERENCE by Thomas J. Glover is money well spent. A concise compendium of materials and factoids all gathered together in a non electric form. A PDF version for e-readers would be good too, but a hard copy would be invaluable.

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