The ninth question deals with reference books in your personal library. I’ll go ahead and quote the entire question, with the original comments, then (as usual) head off in my own direction:
9. Do I have any books on survival in my personal library? If the answer is no, get some. Delta Press and Paladin Press are two of the best sources for books on survival. I recommend that you read every book you can get your hands on by Duncan Long and Ragnar Benson. These two gentlemen are, in my opinion, the best writers on survival topics on this planet.
Well, if that’s not high praise, I don’t know what is. Fair warning: I’ve not read anything by either of those two authors, to the best of my recollection. A quick glance at their bibliographies seems to indicate that they are oriented towards a “quick” collapse (if not altogether Mad Max-like). Long seems to have written extensively on the AR-15 rifle, while if Benson’s books deliver on their titles, much of what he’s describing is illegal (or “of hazy legality” at best).
All that said, I do have a couple of Paladin Press books. They’re packed, awaiting our impending shift to our new location, and I don’t recall exactly which ones I have off the top of my head. What I do know is that I have better books for long-term survival than those. I would venture a guess that a brief stroll through Amazon.com would net any number of good books.
My initial list of recommendations (by no means exhaustive):
- general gardening books;
- gardening books specific to your area (if available);
- books on specific crops of interest (there are quite a few on grains, for instance);
- books on livestock (the Storey Guides are good–here‘s the one on chickens);
- books on drying, curing & preserving food;
- reference books for building, construction, carpentry/woodworking, etc.;
- books on water (collection, septic tanks, etc.)
There are really so many different things for which reference books exist (and so many of them that are likely to be necessary) that I could probably fill my entire library with several hundred, if not several thousand, books. Too much, you say? A few general references that I quite enjoy are: Back to Basics, and the Encyclopedia of Country Living. Neither of them much discusses firearms or security plans; there are other books for those (for example, the ones from Long and Benson, mentioned above).
I’m a bibliophile, and I’m one of those folks who can “learn how” by reading. That being said, my memory isn’t perfect; having books on such things provides reminders. I recommend taking advantage of your local public library to look through books before you go to buy them–books can be like the internet; lots of good information, after digging through tons of dreck. But overall, I’d suggest thinking up all the things you’d like to be able to do, and/or all the things you think you’ll have to be able to do, in a survival scenario, and look at books on those topics.
What are you reading, lately?