What’s On Your Bookshelf?

By: Tom Chatham

Nothing makes me feel quite like walking into a library with wall to wall books, especially if it is a private library in someone’s home with all of the comfort items. The reading lamps, fireplace and soft leather chairs provide a vessel to carry you to your happy place, at least for a short while, and that is all that is required most of the time.

Most people cannot afford the large library that we all would like but you can still assemble a very useful and enjoyable library that will serve your purpose. It does not matter what types of literature you like, there are millions of books available to fill your special wants and needs.

The main thing to keep in mind is to prioritize your purchases so in the event your purchasing must come to an end, you will have the main reading sources that you want. It is great to have a shelf of classics that can keep you entertained for an evening on a cold winter night. When it comes time to plant or build something, it is great to have the reference materials to help you over the ruff spots.

There is so much knowledge that we want to have but have never had the time or opportunity to learn it. With a good library you can fill in the gaps in your knowledge on your own schedule. For those that fear some type of troubles in the future such as economic problems, natural disasters, wars or the loss of a job, the knowledge on your bookshelf can help you get through it with the least amount of pain.

It may be something as simple as a book to help you do your own home repair, fix your car or start a new business. In these times of shrinking home budgets and corporate downsizing, it is good to have some reference materials that can help you cook a good meal on a shoestring, reduce your expenses by fixing it yourself or building something instead of buying it. It may be a book that can teach you something that allows you to get a better job or start your own part time business.

It is apparent that those who read a lot are better at problem solving. This is due to their expanded knowledge base. The more knowledge you have, the more you have to draw on to find a solution to a problem. The larger your knowledge base the more creative you are capable of being. This is often evident when you are faced with some type of crisis situation.

It does not matter what types of books you buy, as long as they reflect your interests and give you pleasure buying and reading them. A well rounded library will likely contain not just literary classics but history, science, how-to, reference, cooking, medical, economics and even children’s books if you have kids in the home. You should also consider having resources to satisfy your spiritual needs when the search for answers requires more than conventional references can offer.

One of the best reasons to have a good library is to insure your children and future generations have the means to learn what is not taught in school and to counter the misinformation some children are taught. The truth has no agenda but public schools do and that is reason enough to build up a good selection of books.

When it comes to buying books the options are numerous. One thing I like to do is shop for old books at antique shops, garage sales or old book stores. Many times you can find some little known classics for very little money that can give you reading pleasure and provide a good investment. Many people now read a lot on line and there is nothing wrong with that but I personally like the feel of a book in my hands. One reason I like physical books is the fact that you don’t need power or electronics to read it anytime you want.

Building up your own personal library can be a rewarding experience and it is a project that can be handed down to the next generation just like other family heirlooms. Reading also has some little thought of advantages. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “ when a man pours his wallet into his head, no one can take it from him”.


Posted on September 17, 2014, in Preparedness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A few of the classics, (or at least semi-classics)…War & Peace, Gone With The Wind, quite a few John Grisham novels (we like them) and some other fiction.

    But the bulk of my shelves contain more practical books on carpentry ( a lot of the old Audel series ), plumbing, wiring, welding, air conditioning, appliance repair, solar power, Brown’s book on home alcohol production, lot of Rodale Press books on gardening, lot of back issues of Organic gardening, and Mother Earth News, that type of thing. Computer books for programs that no longer exist, and computers long gone, college textbooks on engineering, drafting, etc. An extensive set of books on food preservation, including the Ball Blue Book, and many ag extension office pamphlets on food, gardening, fruit production. Books on chicken, pig, cow raising. Five Acres and Independence. That type of thing. Upstairs “library” is a set of about 20 linear feet X 3 high in a hallway.

    Downstairs, a floor to ceiling 24″ wide bookcase I built into the kitchen cabinets when doing a re-model few years back. Wife keeps most all her cookbooks, and one shelf of 3 hole binders for insurance, health, financial records, plus annual livestock, gardening, and food preservation binders, plus the Book of Lists…..the inventory of prep items.

    • It sounds like we have a lot of similar titles Andy. I also have a butt load of army manuals I’ve collected over the years and I have many years worth of old magazines I like to keep such as mother earth news and readers digest for reference and quick reads.

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