What's in your Library?

Started by SCBrian, December 25, 2021, 07:03:25 AM

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Books are important.  Books are important in various Unexpected ways, Books allow Readers to travel without using their feet, Books give wings to our imagination, books are full of knowledge, joy, happiness, wisdom and so much more.
Books are more than enjoyment, Books have the capability to transform your life, Books can help you to solve problems and make yourself better.

Show and/or Tell us about your personal library.  Physical? Digital?  Reference? Romance? What's your favorite subject, who's your favorite author?

BattleVersion wrote:  "For my Family?...Burn down the world, sure... But, I'm also willing to carry it on my shoulders."


My collection is more reference related for surviving a dystopian future.  I used to enjoy reading fantasy, sci-fi, and horror in my younger days but don't find the enjoyment in reading it now that I did then.  I have been listening to fiction audio books while driving recently though, mostly books I haven't read in a long time, about halfway through listening to The Handmaid's Tale at the moment.

Besides a couple boxes of owner's manuals and a collection of offgrid/homesteading magazines and Paladin Press / Loompanics books kept in the attic, the current books kept in the understairs closet of preparedness.  Some suffered some damage in the various moves over the years.

Heavy on medical, because I understand so little of it I suppose.  Someone in our group suffering or dying because of my ignorance of something medical science learned how to fix/cure decades ago would be hard to live with, assuming it wasn't me doing the dying   :smiley_knipoog:

The folder's contain printed material, maps, scanner frequencies, shortwave radio schedules, etc, including some stuff going back to usenet in the early 90's.  The CD/DVD case is backups of electronic media and software, everything I find of interest online from Antennas to Zombies.


I'll just copy over what I wrote in Chat Thread:

This forum has the weird property of creating an urge to show off my meager stuff. I'm already holding back on constantly posting pics of my guns, but you just had to talk about your books.

I used to have a lot of books as a teen, and as a college student. I got rid of most of them when I moved out of my parents' place.

I'm down to 200 physical books and two Ikea "Billy" bookcases. 280 books, and three Billies, if you count my TTRPGs.

Or about XX,XXX books, if you count my .epub collection for the KOBO reader. Which, believe it or not, was xxxxx legally, xxxx copyright law. xxxxxxxxx :greenguy:

Anyway, when I moved out, I only kept things that were either useful reference material, or of sentimental value.

First bookcase, starting on the bottom left:
  • Illustrated Encyclopedia of Nature (minerals / plants of Europe / terrestrial and marine animals of the northern hemisphere). My grandparents got me this. It was my primary refference for anything in nature, before we got an Internet connection.
  • Illustrated New Encyclopedia of Knowledge, where "new" means "early 90s". My grandparents got me this one, too.
  • My old school books. Chemistry, biology, physics, math (the Applied Statistics one I got in college, it just fit in there), German, Latin.
  • My old college textbooks. Chemistry (with one of the fucking best Periodic Tables I have ever seen!), physics, biophysics, molecular biology (if you're into that, get yourself a copy of Alberts et al., it's the international standard, and it's pretty neat), botany, anatomy, microbiology, parasitology. I can safely say that I have never really used my college textbooks. I studied Wikipedia.
  • Various stuff. Plant husbandry and gardening, various guides to plants and animals of Central Europe, hunting & small arm ballistics, fishing (missing, currently on loan to a friend), astronomy, Cmdr. Chris Headfields Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth that I still need to read, some brief summaries on modern physics, human evolution, mythology and world religions.
  • Classics, Politics, Religion. John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, the constitutions and founding documents of various countries (I used to be into that), human rights, the history of the Roman Republic, various readers we had to suffer through in school (Brother's Grimm, Goethe, Schiller, Schopenhauer, Fontane, Kant, Brecht, all that stuff you absolutely hate as a teenager). Two bibles (one acurate translation, and one that is closer to Luther's first one; consider this the German version of the King James bible, as it teaches you a lot about language), a quran, the teachings of Buddha, and finally Dawkins' God Delusion, which tells you what he thinks of all of the former.  :smiley_knipoog:
  • Various technical and medical manuals, disaster preparedness, small unit combat tactics. The tech part of the German amateur radio exam (still one of the best beginner guides to analog electronics I ever saw!), engines, car repair, the commercial driving licence (EU class C truck driver's licence) manual, a really stupid business English proficency test study guide (waste of time, but at least my employer paid for it), my Master's thesis (it's on here, because it was a disaster I didn't prep for) and lab notebook, Emergency Medicine for EMTs and company medics, guide to preclinical use of medication, the German Red Cross handbook to disaster medicine, First Aid Quick Reference sheets, household tips (including prepping advice your grandma would give), the official German government guide to Emergency Preparedness (which is actually pretty good), another amazing fringe guide to Disaster Preparedness by an absolute nutcase that is really frigging hilarious and worth keeping for that fact alone  :icon_crazy:, Lewis Dartnells's The Knowledge (how to rebuild civilization from scratch), and Che Guevara's Guerilla Warfare (suggested to me by a Bundeswehr officer as a great intro to small unit combat tactics and assymetrial conflicts).

Second bookcase, starting on the bottom left:
  • My collection of Karl May. His turn-of-the-century westerns were the first contact many Germans had with the genre, and still shape the impression we have of Native Americans (the whole tired "Noble Savages" thing is a discredited tropy by now, but imagine the radical nature of a German author having positive thoughs about non-white people in 1900) and American history to this day. Seriously, this stuff influenced generations, its importance for German-American relations cannot be overstated. Also, dude really liked Henry rifles. Also, there's a Sherlock Holmes collection on there that I never really read, because Conan Doyle is tedious to get through.
  • Stephen King's Dark Tower series. It's great literature, I love it, and that's a hill I'm willing to die on. Shut up.
  • Various SciFi. I don't know if Eschenbach's Quest was ever translated into English, but I can recommend it. Also, Clockwork Orange, Fahrenheit 451, 2001, and a complete paperpack of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, that looks like shit because I read it about 100,000 times, and it's way too fat to hold it comfortably.
  • Complete Heinlein paperback collection, in English. Well, almost complete. At least I got all of the Lazarus Long books. To be fair, Heinlein is great, but I only read these once. Except for The Moon is a harsh Mistress, which I read twice, and Have Space Suit - Will Travel, which is my, uh, "comfort novel" that I may have read about 15 Billion times.
  • Tolkien. The Hobbit and LOTR. I had to force myself to finish LOTR. Fucking emo kid whiny bitch Frodo, just step aside and let Sam to the work you useless... Ahem. The other book is a short story collection in the world of The Dark Eye, which is Germany's most popular TTRPG (more so than D&D), and of considerable emotional value for me. Because I ran my first RPG campaign with ideas extracted from these short stories.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld, complete. This is easily my favourite fictional universe, hands down. RIP Terry, you are missed.  :(

Third bookcase, TTRPGs, starting on the bottom left:
  • The Dark Eye (TDE), Germany's most popular TTRPG (more so than D&D). The 1st and 2nd ed books (80's) are my father's, the 3rd ed ones (early 2000's) are mine, the 5th ed ones are mine from when I recently got back into it after a break of 13 years.  :smiley_blink: 
  • D&D. I personally got the Starter Set (which is lame) and the Essential's Kit (which is awesome). I feared the later would never come out in German, because it was a Target Exclusive in the US, but they did translate it anyway, and it beats the old set by a mile! The group also has the usual stuff (Player's Guide, DM Guide, Monster Manual, Tasha's Cauldron, etc.). But that's our D&D stuff, not my D&D stuff. Do I hear the Soviet Anthem playing? :eek1:
  • Runequest. Didn't read it yet, looks awesome, though.
  • Call of Cthulhu, player's & storyteller's handbook. Easily my favorite. 🦑
  • World of Darkness core rules. A collectible. I can't stand the angsty, pseudo-intelectual, supposedly deep, BDSM vampire stuff. Screw White Wolf.  :smiley_blink:
  • Fallout RPG. Great design, great aesthetics, total disappointment as a game. What can I say, I'm a total sucker. You could print a a Vault Boy face onto dog poop baggies, and I would probably buy them.
  • The rest is board & card games and a low-value coin collection that is not worth keeping in the safe.

Whoa, typing that out felt good. Why did it feel good? It's just stuff. Am I a total materialist?  :icon_crazy:
May contain traces of derp.


Hmmm...my books are so random.
4 books on cheesemaking
27 cookbooks/recipe books including books on food preservation
6 Lindsey Davis novels (ancient Rome detective series...Marcus Didio Falco and his daughter's continuation)
22 dystopian novels (from One Second After to Summer of the Apocalypse to The Stand)
4 Medical books
10 books on herbs/natural medicine
20 books on gardening/homesteading
25 assorted fantasy or scifi novels
15 books on war/politics
Probably 20 *classic* books or novels (think Shakespeare, Bronte sisters, poetry, etc)
About 40 books in boxes that I was too lazy to dig through.
No pics...I need a big bookcase

"But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you." Taken

"There is no such thing as a fair fight. Fight dirty EVERY time. Dirty fighters win, fair fighters lose. Every fight is a fight for your life. Fight to win. Fight dirty." My dad

"Am I dangerous? Ask any of my surviving exes..." Me


I finally took some time to write some books down.  This list is not all-inclusive and is only some of the books I have hard copies of (I have a lot more in digital format):


Advanced D & D: Dungeon Masters Guide
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Master's Guide
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Monster Manual
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Player's Handbook
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Adventures
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: DragonLance Adventures
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Greyhawk Adventures
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Tome of Magic
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Thieves Guide
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5: Player's Handbook
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5: Monster Manual
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Player's Handbook (3 copies)
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Dungeon Master's Guide
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Monster Manual
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Xanathar's Guide to Everything
Dungeons & Dragons 5E: Tasha's Cauldron of Everything
Deadlands: The Weird West Roleplaying Game
Deadlands: Smith & Robards
Deadlands: Rascals, Varmints & Critters

Purely Entertainment:

Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury
Calvin and Hobbs: Weirdos from Another Planet! by Waterson
Calvin and Hobbs: The Revenge of the Baby-Sat by Waterson
The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbs by Waterson
The Touring Test by Elizabeth Jancweicz
Love Is... #3 by Kim Grove (was my mom's)
(I had a ton of Calvin and Hobbs and Garfield books, but they were lost during a move)

Because I'm a writer (*wink, wink*):

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart
Plants that Kill by Elizabeth A. Dauncey and Sonny Larsson
Henry Lee's Crime Scene Handbook


Home Doctor by Dr. Maybell Nieves, Dr. Rodrigo Alterio, and Claude Davis
The Princeton Review Anatomy Coloring Workbook
I'm Learning Japanese!
The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens
Cracked: The De-Textbook
Merriam-Webster's Student Atlas
Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build Yourself
George Washington: 25 Great Projects You Can Build Yourself

Math for Smarty Pants by Burns and Weston
Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids' Go-To Person about Sex
Writer's Inc by Sebranek, Kemper, and Meyer (two editions)
Writer's Express by  Sebranek, Kemper, and Meyer, and Elsholz
3D Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius
Android Recipes
by Smith Friesen
Android Apps with App Inventor by Kloss
Introduction to Programming with Java: A Problem Solving Approach by Dean
Dreamweaver CS5 by McFarland
Dreamweaver CS5 for Dummies by Warner
Make it with Paper
Complete Origami
by Eric Kenneway
Origami on the Go by Van Sicklen
Tree Craft by Chris Lubkemann
Gift Wrapping: Creative Ideas from Japan by Ekiguchi
Mastering Manga by Mark Crilley
Sketching Basics by Fabry
Drawing Comics Lab by Chapman
Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist by Gurney
Layout and Composition for Animation by Ghertner
200+ Holiday Quickies
The Robot Builder's Bonanza
by Gordon McComb and Myke Predko
Backyard Ballistics by Gurstelle
Orienteering by Ian Bratt
Chocolate: Make and Mold Your Own Chocolate Bars
501 Cross Stitch Designs
by Sam Hakins
Box by Box: 21 projects for developing your woodworking skills by Stack
Shelving and Storage
The Big Book of Weekend Woodworking
by John Nelson and Joyce Nelson
Japanese Woodworking Tools by Toshio Odate
Choosing & Using Hand Tools by Andy Rae
Perfect Piecing by Rodale's Successful Quilting Library
Crocheted Gifts in a Weekend by Sterling and Lark
A New Twist on Tatting by Sterling and Chapelle
Corking by Judy Ann Sadler
Loom Crafts with Knifty Knitter by Shannon Erling
The Science of Smart: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind by Centennial Health
Science Magic Tricks by Shalit
Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Super Formulas Arts & Crafts
by White
The Basics of Pistol Shooting
Lessons in the Fundamentals of Go
by Kageyama
Learn to Play Go by Jeong Soo-hyun 9 dan
The Art and Science of Stick Fighting by Joe Varady
Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis
How to Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B. C. Wolverton
All About Bonsai
The Bonsai Workshop
by Gustafson
Make Magazine (several years worth)
The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
The Backyard Homestead by Stoney
Fences, Gates, and Bridges and How to Build Them by Martin
Home Building and Woodworking in Colonial America by C. Keith Wilbur
Monte Burch's Pole Building Projects
Building Small Barns, Sheds & Shelters
by Storey Books
A Cabin Full of Food by Marie Beausolen
Root Cellering by Mike & Nancy Bubel
Water Storage by Art Ludwig
Photovoltic Design & Installation for Dummies by Mayfield
The Directory of Knots by John Shaw
Modern Reloading: Second Edition by Richard Lee
The Chicken Health Handbook by Damerow
Medicinal Plants of North America
Herbal Antibiotics
by Buhner
Easter/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs
The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook: A Home Manual
by Green
Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof
The Big Book of Kombucha by Crum & LaGory
Preserving Wild Foods by Weingarten and Pelzel
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
The Spice & Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphil
Smart Soapmaking: The Simple Guide to Making Traditional Handmade Soap Quickly, Safely, and Reliably by Anne L. Watson
All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
Carrots Love Tomatoes by Riotte
Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening by Deborah L. Martin
Gaia's Garden by Chelsea Green
Vegetable Gardening the Colonial Williamsburg Way by Weseley Greene
Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth

Children's Books:

The Real Mother Goose (had been my mom's before it was mine)
Fairy Tales
The Indian in the Cupboard
by Banks
Bound for Oregon by Van Leeuwen
Oh, What a Beautiful Lady! by Damien Walne & Joan Flory
Aesop's Fables: Selected and Adapted by Jack Zipes
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Bunnicula: The Celery Stalks at Midnight by Howe
(I seem to be missing some Bunnicula books, I had the entire trilogy)
Brady by Jean Fritz
The Adventures of TinTin by Hergé
Bambi by Felix Salten
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
Lad: A Dog by Albert Payson Terhune (I read this one and Rascal several times as a kid)
Rascal by Sterling North
Five True Dog Stories
Magic Tree House: Viking Ships at Sunrise
Magic Tree House: Mummies in the Morning
Magic Tree House: Vacation Under the Volcano
Magic Tree House: Lions at Lunchtime
Magic Tree House: Ghost Town at Sundown
Magic Tree House: Polar Bears Past Bedtime
Magic Tree House Research Guide #1

Tomo: I Was and Eighth-Grade Ninja by Rogers
Tomo: My Double-Edged Life by Rogers
Tomo: Child of Destiny by Rogers
Tomo: The Argon Deception by Rogers
Tomo: Secret Alliance by Rogers
Tomo: Truth Revealed by Rogers
Tomo: Betrayal of Trust by Rogers
Tomo: The Battle for Argon Falls by Rogers
Bone 1: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smithson
Bone 2: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smithson
Bone 3: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smithson
Bone 4: The Dragonslayer by Jeff Smithson
Bone 5: Rock Jaw; Master of the Eastern Border by Jeff Smithson
Bone 6: Old Man's Cave by Jeff Smithson
Bone 7: Ghost Circles by Jeff Smithson
Bone 8: Treasure Hunters by Jeff Smithson
Bone 9: Crown of Horns by Jeff Smithson
Bone: Quest for the Spark 1 by Smith and Sneigoski
Bone: Quest for the Spark 2 by Smith and Sneigoski
Bone: Quest for the Spark 3 by Smith and Sneigoski
Bone: Rose by Smith and Vess
Bone: Tall Tales by Smith and Sneigoski

Serendipity (an old subscription book service for children back in the 1970s):

Wheedle on the Needle
Nitter Pitter
Little Mouse on the Prairie
Leo the Lop Tail Two
Jake O'Shawnasey
In Search of the Saveopotomas
The Gnome from Nome
The Muffin Muncher


The Mountains of the Sun by Christian Leourier
Passage at Arms by Glen Cook
Fear & Ultimate Adventure by L. Ron Hubbard
All the Gods of Eisernon by Simon Lang
The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted by Harry Harrison
The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson


Glory Road
Starship Troopers
Waldo & Magic, Inc.
The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag
Tunnel in the Sky
The Door Into Summer
Citizen of the Galaxy
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
The Man Who Sold the Moon
Puppet Masters
Rocket Ship Galileo
The Menace from Earth
Time for the Stars
Revolt in 2100
Time Enough for Love
Farnham's Freehold
To Sail Beyond the Sunset
Red Planet
The Day After Tomorrow
Farmer in the Sky
The Star Beast
Have Space Suit – Will Travel
Double Star
Beyond the Horizon
Starman Jones
Podkayne of Mars
The Rolling Stones
Space Cadet
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress


Chronicles Vols 1, 2, and 3
Legends Vols 1, 2, and 3
Tales Vols 1, 2, and 3
Heroes Vols 1, 2, and 3
Preludes Volume II
Brothers Majere: Preludes Volume III
The Dragons of Krynn
Dragons of the Hourglass Mage
The Raistlin Chronicles
The Second Generation

(Can you tell I had a crush on Raistlin?)

C. S. Lewis:

Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
The Magician's Nephew
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Horse and his Boy
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle
The Screwtape Letters

Stuff I Didn't Bother Categorizing:

The Hundred Rules of War by Tsukahara Bokuden
The Ways of the Samurai by Gaskin & Hawkins
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The Bounty Hunter Code by Daniel Wallace , Ryder Windham , et al.
The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories of Hans Christian Anderson
Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales
The Divine Comedy
by Dante
The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
Uzumaki by Junji Ito
Greek Myths
by Dr. Ernest Drake, Dugald A. Steer, et al.
Thinking in Numbers: On Life, Love, Meaning, and Math by Daniel Tammet
Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet
The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo
What Would Jesus Do? by Sheldon (Dr. Sheldon was my and my husband's political science professor in college)
The Winter Room by Paulsen
The Moscow Puzzles; 359 Mathematical Recreations by Kordemsky
Arithmetricks by Julius
Thirty Days Has September: Cools Ways to Remember Stuff
Painting in the Chinese Manner by Shu-Shu Chang (the art in this book is beautiful and it's out of print, I went to great effort to find this book for my library)
The Millionaire and the Scrublady by Barton
Adalithiel by Andrea Rose Washington
Creating Dragons by Sean Brand & Ivan Hissey
When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks (one of my all-time favorite books)
Several Bibles

Extra Important to me:

Tell Her I Love Her – the journal my mother kept as she was dying of cancer and worried about leaving me behind.
Feed science, not zombies!

Failure is the path of least persistence.



My collection is probably 1/3 nonfiction (dictionaries, how-to books, military history, field manuals) 1/3 "classic" fiction (everything from Dostoyevsky to Mark Twain to Tolkien) and the rest is modern fiction (Tom Clancey, Anne Rice, and so forth)

Maybe 400 physical books.  And hundreds more in my downloaded library.  The sad part is, I have probably only read about half of the collection!   I need more free time.
It could be the purpose of my life is merely to serve as a warning to others.

Kathy in FL

I have three "libraries."  One at the BOL in an upstairs bonus room dedicated to that purpose.  One at our primary home that holds overflow from the BOL but not nearly as extensive as that room was my youngest son's bedroom (read small) before his older brother moved out and he moved into that space.  His old bedroom is now my office to get my crap all in one location instead of spread all over the place.

Library three is a combo of digital books and digital movies and occupies an 8T external hard drive.  This "library" is one of the things that will get grabbed in case of evacuation of the house.

I've actually found the digital library more useful simply because of the searchability but the paper books are more tactile-y enjoyable.


I've been building my collection since my teen years. This is maybe a 1/4 of my total collection. A large part of it is still in boxes after the cheap ass bookshelves I had collapsed. 

I've got a lot of military fiction, sci-fi, classic fiction, modern fiction, etc. I've got several copies of the Bible, a "complete copy" of the Books of Enoch, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures (Revised), The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, and a few other assorted religious texts.

A lot of the Dragonlance series, All of the Anne Rice books. All of the Louis L'Amour books, A TON of Forgotten Realms books, All of the (Monster Hunter International) MHI books (Including a leather bound hardback copy of the first version of Monster Hunter International). Most of the Witcher series, Tom Clancy, Harry Turtledove, and many more.

I have a massive amount of electronic books that are strictly D&D TTRPG: Roughly 8.30 GB worth of PDF's (2,295 total at last count). They range from 1st edition to 5E versions of everything from DMG guide's, Players Handbooks, guides to assorted classes, assorted tomes, etc.

I also have quite a few DIY books, kids books for my kids, and assorted not sure where they belong books like "The Art of War, Murder Machine, 3 Sips of Gin, A Savage War of Peace, War of the Flea, World War II Axis Booby Traps and Sabotage Tactics, Where There is No Dentist, The Sling and the Stone, The Accidental Guerilla, etc (I think you can see where I'm going with these).

I love reading, I encourage my children to read everything they can get their hands on. Knowledge is in the pages, even fiction books can contain nuggets of knowledge. My only criteria for keeping books in my collection is that it must keep my interest, and be something I can reread and enjoy. If not I get rid of it.

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