My library has been on my mind a lot lately. Mostly because I finally put up some shelves and unpacked all of my books and resources after moving out during the remodel last year. However, as I was installing and cutting the shelves, I reflected on the origins of my library and why having a library is so important.
When I first started on this journey, I was reading anything I could get my hands on. My neighbor enthusiastically fed me books and recommendations. When my wife gets on me about my, oh, let's call it selective hoarding, I tell her, 'Blame Brian! It's his fault!' I've read dozens upon dozens of authors and I have my favorites, but one of the first that cultivated my thirst for knowledge was James Wesley Rawles (JWR). If you go to the JWR website, SurvivalBlog, and do some digging, you'll find his "List of Lists" spreadsheet that you can download. In that spreadsheet is a tab labeled "Book List".
In preparation for this post, I decided to review it again to see how I'm doing, comparatively speaking. All in all, I'm doing pretty good, I think. His spreadsheet has non-fiction, fiction, movies, magazines, and recommendations for youth/teen readers. Sticking to his book recommendations, he's got about 175 annotations for recommendations. On my Resources/Useful Resources - Books page, I've listed about 125. But, when he wrote up that spreadsheet, technology wasn't what it is today so I also have smart phone apps noted as well. However, all of these apps are supported, or supplemented, by a physical book.
A library is a personal and subjective thing. If you review my books list, you'll see that some have absolutely nothing to do with self-sufficiency or, dare I say, preparedness. Some are just for pleasure reading, some are cookbooks I like, and that's the point of my library. Don't get me wrong, the newly installed library shelves are teeming with books, articles, and printed what not that deal exclusively with all manner of knowledge based learning as it relates to homesteading, herbs, water, root cellars, tactics, etc. These books and resources easily comprise 95% of my library. The works that I've included that don't deal with these topics, or many other preparedness leaning subject matters, are there to break the monotony and drudgery should the Schumer begin.
One thing I would like to point out as you begin, or continue, building your own personal library is that of physical versus electronic versions.
If the Schumer does arrive, wouldn't a precious resource like electricity be better served elsewhere as opposed to trying to keep your Kindle, tablet, or smartphone charged so you can access your library?
I can see the logic in wanting to put all of your resources on a flash drive. It small, portable, light weight, and fits in your pocket. However, it also dependent on electricity to power the computer in order to access the files and that is something you might not be able to count on. To me, personally, I cannot recommend highly enough that your library be almost exclusively comprised of physical copies of your resources (or at a minimum there is duplicity between the physical and the electronic). Yes, the physical resources will be heavy and a complete pain in the rump if you have to move all of them, and you'll have to be highly selective if you have to relocate in a hurry, but at least you gave yourself that option by having hard copies of your resources instead of a paperweight you used to call a phone.