One of the coolest things I saw in the Harry Potter movies was Hermione’s bottomless bag; that large purse she carried around in the last two movies that held a ton of stuff – but didn’t WEIGH a ton or LOOK big. Today’s libraries can be the same way, but there are several things that must be taken into consideration as you build yours.
Now, understand as you read through this, I’m talking about virtual libraries. I’m not talking about brick and mortar buildings; nor am I talking about the room or shelves in your home or retreat that is stocked with printed books. Everyone reading this should appreciate the value of having a library containing entertainment reading, educational reading and reference materials. In this blog entry I’m talking about the contemporary virtual libraries we can all carry with us in our smart phones, tablet computers (iPads, etc) or our reading devices (Kindle, Nook, etc.).
Way back in October 2010 I wrote a review of the Amazon Kindle reader. As I indicated then, I thought it was pretty cool that I could carry up to 3,500 books ON THE DEVICE. It may be hard to grasp how many books that is since it’s difficult to visualize. Let me help…
If each reference manual in your library was just 1/2″ wide, that 3,500 books would fill 1,750″ of shelf space. That’s 146 feet of shelf. That’s a shelf almost half the length of a football field. In reality, most books aren’t just 1/2″ wide. A lot of the books on your shelves are 1″ or thicker, so imagine a shelf that IS a football field long – a 100 yard shelf full of books. If you divided them equally between entertainment, education and reference, you’d need 33 yards of reference books. THAT is the virtual library I’m talking about here.
Now, seeing as how it’s virtual and not in print, it can be easily carried around on that reading device of yours. However, that reading device requires electricity and, in most cases, you can’t print any of what’s contained in it (with the possible exception of PDF format documents). Those are restrictions you need to take into consideration. Those two concerns are what makes a printed book library better to have. On the other hand, if you’re bugging out of your residence, it’s near impossible to take 3,500 (or even just 1,100 if we only count the reference manuals) books with you. It’s EASY to take an electronic reader. Just make sure you have a solar recharging mat to keep it usable. My Kindle, without the Wi-Fi system turned on, lasts about 40 hours (or more) on a single full charge. My Acer Tablet, on the other hand, lasts about ten hours on a single full charge.
The other major consideration as you build your preparedness library is that it’s essential to keep the books ON your device. “Cloud” storage systems are great for the companies who maintain the data, but if your connection to them goes down, then you’re stuck only with what you have ON the device. It’s not that difficult to sort through your stored books. I recommend you keep them on your device. Additionally, if you don’t have an e-reader but you do have a desktop computer, smart phone or laptop computer, free reading applications for the major e-reader services are available. Just download it to your computer or other device and start building your library.
What kind of books should you have on your device?
Entertainment was mentioned first, only because it was the first thought I had. Over 750,000 books are currently available FOR FREE from Kindle. Many of them are “classics;” books that had a copyright that expired way back in the 1920s and are available for free in electronic format today. Surprisingly, several dozen of them are also survival or self-reliance oriented. Now I freely admit that a book on farming from the 1920s might not be up-to-date with contemporary agricultural information, but it doesn’t describe modern farming methods either. It describes more basic methods, requiring less technology and more hard work: exactly what you’ll have if society collapses for whatever reason.
Such books are easy enough to find. Just go to the Amazon Kindle Free Book Collections page and start searching for what you seek by title, author or topic.
Also, here are a couple places you can go to get plenty of free books or manuals:
This is easy enough to do. Start building both your virtual and real libraries now. Just make sure you can keep your e-reader or other device powered so you can access such books during power outages or in the event of a grid shut down. I like having a library in my house. If I HAVE to bug out though, I like the idea of being able to take my entire survival library with me on a single source that is convenient to carry.
Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating.