If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably realized that we are becoming more and more dependent on electronic media and less and less dependent on good old fashion paper bound books. I know that nearly all of the books that I read are on my Barns & Noble nook eBook reader and my kids enjoy reading books on either their iPod Touch or iPad.
So just for a minute, let’s imagine that we weren’t able to use these devices for an extended period of time. Some may say that this is a farfetched fantasy that will never come to fruition but it’s really not that far out of the realm of possibilities. One of the biggest fears that preppers have is that a massive solar flare will cause a tremendous electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to hit the earth which will turn our electronic devices into nothing more than useless piles of metal and plastic.
I can’t say for sure whether this will actually happen and no one else can either but one thing is for certain, it can’t hurt to stock up on paper books just in case. Imagine a world without electronic entertainment devices. I don’t think many of us realize how difficult it would be for us to transition from having instant access to the the wealth of information available on the Internet, 24 hour satellite television programming, or streaming YouTube videos to entertain us.
Ask yourself what you would do without these devices to keep yourself entertained. Many of us would be quite bored and have a very difficult time finding things to occupy our minds with. This is the reason that I suggest that you too begin stocking up on good old fashioned paper books. Not only will these books provide a means of entertainment and relieving boredom, they can also be valuable items that could be used for bartering.
In a post-apocalyptic world, a classic novel or good old fashioned murder mystery would be considered a luxury item. In my opinion, luxury items will be in high demand and if you have a surplus of these types of items, you would be uniquely positioned to trade for other items that you might not have on hand.
What Kind Of Books Should You Stock Up On?
How-To Books – While reading for entertainment will be very important after a doomsday event, perhaps the more important types of books to have on hand would be books that provide valuable information that you can use to survive with. For example, many years ago my husband picked up a book that was published by Readers Digest called “Back To Basics”. This book was written to teach people how to learn and enjoy traditional American skills. It’s a 455 page book that teaches everything from how to build a house with nothing more than hand tools and logs to how to make your own shoes.
During times of a major disaster when you have to “bug in” and survive with nothing more than your supplies and your wits, having books like this on hand will be extremely important. Many preppers such as myself spend quite a bit of time reading articles and books on how to survive a catastrophic event but it’s a proven fact that if you don’t use the skills that you have learned often, you’ll forget them. Even if you don’t forget them entirely, you may forget some important details that could mean the difference between your success and failure.
Educational Books – Let’s not forget that the reason many of us spend so much time preparing for these types of emergencies is because we hope to survive for the rebuilding of society. If you have children, they will be our future so having educational books on hand that can be used to home school your children will be very important. Keep in mind that this will be a scary time for everyone, especially children. Being prepared to provide some kind of structure in the form of daily school lessons will go a long way towards helping your children cope with this new way of living.
Novels – As I’ve previously mentioned, I believe that having interesting novels on hand will be extremely important because it will provide an outlet that would otherwise not be available. Those of us who enjoy reading know that a couple hours spent immersed in a good mystery novel can be extremely relaxing and provide an escape from reality that is difficult to find in today’s society.
Tips For Finding Affordable Books To Stock Up On
If you are actively prepping you probably don’t have a lot of extra money on hand. Especially if you are in the beginning phases of building up your emergency supplies. The good news is that books can be purchased very inexpensively and oftentimes they are available for free. Below you’ll find a list of places that can be amazing resources when it comes to picking up inexpensive books to add to your emergency stockpile.
Libraries – Believe it or not, libraries will often give away old books that are in need of some minor binding repairs. Check with your local library and find out when they give away old books that they are no longer in need of and make a point of attending the event.
Friends and Neighbors – Most people don’t have a formal library in their home and when they have finished reading their most recent book, they give it away or throw it away. Tell your friends and neighbors that you are collecting books and many of them will give you their old books for free instead of throwing them in the trash.
Schools – When old school books become quite tattered, they’re often thrown out. This is especially true when old versions of schoolbooks are replaced with new versions. Contact your local schools and let them know that you would be interested in receiving old books that they plan on disposing of.
Yard and Garage Sales – One of our favorite places that we have for finding emergency supplies is yard and garage sales. It’s not uncommon to find huge boxes of books for sale for five dollars or less at these types of sales. Here’s a really good tip: Make sure that you show up on the very last day of yard sales because a lot of people will drastically reduce their prices just so they don’t have to clean up the mess. If you show up on the last hour of the last day and say, “I’ll give you $10.00 for every book that you have leftover so you don’t have to put them away, you might end up with a box full of a hundred paperback books and they will have only cost you a dime a piece.
An Important Thing to Keep In Mind About Collecting Books
When it comes to choosing the books that you would like to include in your collection, keep in mind that what might not be interesting to you might be fascinating to someone else. Remember, you’re not only preparing for your own needs but those of others as well. This is especially true if you plan on using books for bartering or trading. Maybe the very idea of reading a Harlequin romance novel is excruciatingly painful for you to think about but to someone else, having access to these types of books may be a luxury that they’ll pay a lot for.
The bottom line is that books are items that can be picked up inexpensively and oftentimes free so I highly implore you to start a collection of books to add to your emergency stockpile and I think that you’ll agree that someday they could come in very handy.
One Last Tip
Don’t forget magazines when you are stocking up on reading material for a post-doomsday world. Magazines can provide a leisurely break from reality and you can find them for free every day of the week. Most people who have a magazine subscription will gladly give you their old copies to save themselves the effort of taking them to the recycle drop off point.