Your Prepper Library Might Be
More Important Than You Realize One Day!
Books are an amazing thing for those who like to read them, and many voracious readers take great pride in their libraries. Conversely, a great many people who live and thrive in the great outdoors do not overly appreciate the finer aspects of many books. As always, there is a great deal of room for compromise here, but the key to building a proper Prepper library is to select volumes, not so much for entertainment, as for practical application of knowledge. Think of the ultimate prepper library as nothing more than a means to gain knowledge and to convert that knowledge to wisdom. The proper Prepper library can assist even the most basic Preppers or Homesteaders allowing them to become the local “Go-To-Expert” whether in the current system or in the event that SHTF day has already come and gone.
Build Your Prepper Library with Some Great Deals
A large selection of books can often be discovered at Flea Markets, Thrift Stores, in dollar stores and at yard sales and other locations. Generally, for whatever reason, people tend to be more willing to bargain and haggle on the price of books as well. I have one friend who bought a book for ten cents, knowing full well that the actual value was well over a hundred thousand dollars. While that is certainly the exception, suffice it to say that books, when available, can generally be purchased at bargain basement prices. Electronic books may be all fine and dandy, but since one of the most common SHTF scenarios is an absolute loss of the electrical grid, unless there are spare kindles and laptops laying around in the many Faraday Cages on your Homestead, chances are pretty good that most of these will be rendered useless with the first strike of an EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) or CME (Coronal Mass Ejection). Such an occurrence, stemming from a CME from the sun, if you believe NASA, has a twelve percent chance of occurring over the course of this decade.
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You Need a Purposeful Prepper Library
For the voracious reader, it is tempting to fill the bookshelves primarily with books in whatever genre they appreciate the most. There is something to be said for this, and it is beneficial, but only to a marginal degree. The ability of the Prepper or Homesteader to entertain themselves after SHTF is a point that merits its own studies. This will, in fact, be a key to maintaining even a minimal quality of life for those that do survive. However, the books selected will remain the same over the course of time, at least until “civilized society” is resurrected from the ashes and hopefully in a better form than the one it currently possesses. That being said, book exchanges are probably not going to be very high on the priority list of survivors.
A section of the Prepper Library should be set aside for a limited number of these fictional works. The actual size of this section of the library will depend on the available room that the Prepper has, but they should also remember that once they have read those same books a few times, they will discover that they are merely recapping stories that they have already memorized, totally dismissing any perceived value these works of fiction may have. If an opportunity does come up to exchange books, however, it will also be nice to have something to trade as well. For the more proper and practical Prepper library, much more focus should be paid to establishing a vast collection of non-fiction or books with more of a basis in reality. Most notably, works that will be of a direct and more tangible benefit to the Prepper and Homesteader.
Virtually all first aid books should be purchased when they can be had at a reasonable price. If you have to sit there and read the same materials over and over, what better materials to memorize than how to save a life? While most of the basic first aid books will simply repeat the same materials over and over again in a relentlessly repetitive and redundant format, many different options for treatments and healing will be discussed if there are enough books on hand. This portion of the Prepper Library should also include books on Holistic Medicines, medicinal plants, preferably based on geographical location, homemade salves, lotions, and other potions. Virtually any other book that discusses how to heal wounds and to maintain or regain health and well-being of the Homesteader would be valuable.
Local and Regional Works
Any and all of the books that can be found regarding the local geography, biology, environment, and local ecosystems and plant life will all be equally beneficial. There are many homesteads in more mountainous regions wherein the variations in elevation will drastically change what plants and even what crops can be grown there. What healthy and medicinal plants can be grown in the local region? What do these plants need in order to thrive? Many plants can be used for herbs and spices, some in addition to containing intrinsic medicinal values. Are there beneficial fungi growing in the area or that can be grown with the proper encouragement? Which trees are better for lumber? Which local varieties of trees are better suited for the growth of timbers? Did you know that one of the biggest mistakes people make when felling a tree is chopping off all of the branches immediately? Do you understand why it is such a common and costly mistake to begin with? All of these answers should be relatively accessible and within reach in a well-stocked Prepper library.
Science: Geology and Basic Chemistry
What types of rocks are available in the local area? Are there natural gas or oil deposits that can potentially be utilized? Can sulfur, coal or potassium nitrate (the three primary components of black gunpowder or black powder, Potassium Nitrate being the more formal name of Saltpeter which can be found in its natural state in some locations) be found in the local area? Is there an ample supply of flint that can be carved and shaped into tools and even weapons? While it may not be beneficial to enter into a gunfight with nothing but a flint knife, the weapons that can be made include many traps that make for an excellent defensive perimeter in the event of SHTF and will also have a devastating psychological effect on the persons trying to gain access to your homestead off the beaten path as it were.
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What kind of fish and wildlife grow naturally and locally? Are the local varieties of fish inclusive of species like bluegill or Tilapia that can be easily farmed? Are there any species of fowl that may be trapped and even domesticated for increased food production? Is it beneficial to build a fish farm? Perhaps it would be more beneficial to build a fish farm with a vertical garden on top creating a very limited system that is largely self-supporting? Would the water for the fish pond need to be heated? Will colder water or warmer water be more beneficial to the breeding of the fish, and thus the overall productivity of their offspring, an important food source for surviving virtually any SHTF scenario.
Quality of Books Is Important
Books can be readily purchased for under a dollar each, and often in second hand stores and flea markets for mere pennies on the dollar, or often just a dime or a quarter each. The key to building a proper Prepper library, however, will be in the selection of books rather than the volume of books. Here, in the library, more than ever, the quality far outweighs quantity. Survival manuals and other books that teach the Prepper or the Homesteader not only how to survive, but how to enjoy a relative comfortable median quality of life, not only after SHTF but even in the current system, will be far more beneficial than a library full of works of fiction that have already been read ten or twelve times over.
It would not be a stretch to say that a Proper Prepper Library would, in fact, be the very key not only to survival but the ability of the Prepper or Homesteader to have an excellent quality of life both before and after SHTF, thus being truly beneficial even if there is no drastic, cataclysmic event throughout the course of our lifetimes. Furthermore, when that bunker is filled up with friends and family if and when SHTF Day does arrive, the person who has to stop and teach those select few they have allowed into their protective realm will be virtually incapable of accomplishing much else, most notably during the early days when survival will be critical and more difficult as people adjust. Providing them with educational reading materials will not only allow them to learn to become more productive and contributing members of the Prepper Paradise or the Homestead, but also allow those who are already well prepared, to continue with their work unabated in those first few critical days.
M “WC” Tipton is a former Homesteading and Prepper Consultant, former Hunting and Fishing Guide and now mostly a Freelance Writer writing about any of his many different passions for fun and for profit.
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