Survival Library

One of the most important assets in becoming self sufficient is your reference library.

You should gather all the How-To books you can locate. Many times these are on the bargain shelf of used book stores, flea markets, and thrift stores. They will be invaluable to you if you have enough tools, materials to do your own carpentry work, make repairs or improvements to your living spaces. They will become invaluable in teaching yourself how to do things when there is no one else to assist you. Gather books in every possible area that you can locate. Some examples would be books on how to wire your home for electricity (with theory of AC included with as much science or physics as possible. Books on construction techniques (carpentry, masonry.) Books on basic electronics, and electricity written in the early 20th century are particularly valuable.)


Books on medicine and homoeopathic remedies are invaluable in learning how to cope with medical issues when you are on your own.

Try to locate medical books oriented towards laymen and not trained medical personnel.

If you are fortunate enough to be trained in medicine (Doctor, Nurse, Paramedic, etc.) you will obviously need the more advanced sort of medical reference books but for the rest of us basic books on first-aid, books about natural remedies, books about handling some severe trauma injury would be the most useful.

The argument about keeping paper books or electronic book readers (like the Kindle Paper White) can often be solved by keeping both.

I try to purchase as many books for my Kindle as possible but I also aggressively pursue paper copies of those books I have on my Kindle and would rely on paper books more so than the Kindle any way.

I believe that my electronic books are just as safe as my paper copies and I don't store digital reference material only in one place making backups of your electronic book reader are simple if you have programs like Calibre that can also decrypt the material purchased from Amazon.

This lets you save the book that you purchased in multiple formats as well in case you have different types of book reader devices.

This also lets you store books like "Where There Is No Doctor" on your tablets and smart phones as well, especially if your device supports "book reader" apps and has external micro sd or sd card capability.


You can store a lot of books and diagrams and schematics on an 8gb micro sd card! They are becoming very inexpensive and allow you to store a lot of information in a very tiny package.

I am not very worried about anything happening to my book readers and media, including EMP. I feel they are well protected, duplicated in multiple places and very likely to survive in one form or another. For my situation I can't backpack all my books in paper form but storing them on a Kindle with solar charger makes sense. I also copy scans of personal documents and other critical papers (like a DD-214) into memory sticks and keep them in my grab and go gear.

If you never plan to be mobile during a situation then by all means paper books are wonderful.