Friday, October 21, 2011

Adding to My Survival Library

I've been actively preparing for well over a year now and my list of things to get and to do never seems to get shorter. It gets overwhelming when you realize just how much stuff it would take to survive a major societal collapse - or even a minor one, for that matter. I recently finished reading James Wesley Rawles' Patriotsand the protagonists in that book have an insanely tricked out survival retreat. It makes me feel more than a little inadequate!

The best I can do is set purchasing priorities and see them through. Number one on my list is food storage. We should have our year's supply by the end of 2011. Number two is information - books, resources printed off the Internet, etc. on all sorts of survival topics. The books are helping me plan my future purchases and they would be an invaluable asset in any sort of long term disaster. I think of them as a kind of Noah's Ark of information.

Part of our survival library

I prefer actual, physical books. You'll never see me breaking out a Nook or Kindle. It's not my style and in a grid down situation, you may lose access to the precious knowledge contained in an e-book. I suppose the best case scenario would be to buy both a physical copy/copies of an essential book and to also have an electronic version.

I'm collecting books in a variety of categories:

Food Storage Cookbooks
Animal Husbandry
"Hardcore" Survival Topics (ie. Foraging, Trapping, etc.)
Traditional Skills

At this point, I've pretty well gotten the first three categories taken care of. Since Hubby Dear is a medical professional, I'm not too worried about the last category, either.

Here's what I added to the library this month:
  1. Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, and Cattle This book contains bits and pieces of all the "Storey's Guide to Raising..." books about these particular animals. I wasn't very impressed. I have and love the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens because it is very, very thorough. Barnyard in Your Backyard? Not so much. I should have just bought the complete Storey's Guides for each of the animal species. 
  2. The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It A beautiful book. Inspiring and packed with lovely illustrations. 
  3. The Chicken Health Handbook If my hypothetical chickens get sick, I will be prepared. More than you ever wanted to know about chicken ailments. 
  4. SurvivorsThis is John Wesley Rawles' sequel to Patriots. I liked Patriots OK. I am about 80 pages into Survivors and it is driving me crazy! Ever seen a kid with ADHD hopped up on too much sugar?This book reminds me of that; it flits between so many different people that there is no narrative "flow". Please tell me it gets better!

What are your "Must Haves" for your library? Are you buying e-books or paper copies?  


  1. I see you've already got a copy of Carla Emery's "Encyclopedia of Country Living" -- it's my favorite of all the self-reliance/homesteading books I own, far & above the rest! (And I own a lot... sigh!) But I borrowed "The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading: An Encyclopedia of Independent Living" from the library and it looks pretty indispensable, so it's on my "must-buy" list. If I had to choose only two books for self-reliance, those would be the two I'd own.

  2. Jeanne - Yes, "The Encyclopedia of Country Living" is wonderful! I'm glad to hear you recommend "The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading"; I have it on my wishlist!


  3. PAPER! I need to hold,touch, dog ear, & mark important things!
    1. Encyclopedia of Country Living ( of course )
    2. Best of the Basics
    3. Storey's Country Living
    4. Wild Edibles of Missouri ( never know..)
    I think having the hard copy of a book will turn out to be VERY important in the future. Great Blog!