I think one of the things that sets my book apart from other similar books (i.e. one's that are about "survival" in the face of TEOTWAWKI) is that I place some emphasis on things that other authors/writers never consider. Specifically, I recommend building a library.
When people ask me why I include that recommendation, I have, what I think are, a few good reasons. One is that we are not a society that teaches "life skills", and by that I mean every day, useful kinds of skills that help make life more simple - from homesteading skills like how to grow and preserve food, how to raise and butcher an animal and tan the hide, and how to make lye soap to more specialized tasks like how to spin animal fur into fiber and then weave that fiber into cloth, how to forage spring greens or medicinal plants, or even something as (seemingly) simple as splitting wood for the woodstove.
How many of us have been taught these skills today?
Elliot Wigginton and his students attempted to perserve this knowledge in The Foxfire Book series. What they discovered, though, and what I realized, as I was reading the Foxfire books and writing my own, is that our society has an incredible dearth of knowledge of how perform very simple, every day tasks, that the people interviewed by Wigginton and his students simply took for granted.
First off, we should note that those people interviewed didn't live hundreds of years ago. In fact, it is only within the last generation or two that this wealth of information and skill has been lost. What's even more interesting is that by and large those people would have been considered less worldly and less intelligent than most of us consider ourselves. Yet, they had skills and knowledge that would help them survive in conditions we couldn't even fathom living in. Without our modern amenities, most of us would die. Without modern amenities, those people would continue to live ... and THRIVE ... just like they always had.
Today, in an interview with Carl Etnier we talked about the loss of those skills, and I said, basically, that we no longer have those very simple, life-enriching and potentially life saving skills, and it will be only through books that most of us will learn them. In fact, it was through books that I learned the skills I needed to safely preserve food for my family, and Deus Ex Machina learned to harvest our rabbits and tan the hides.
The best reason for collecting books and caring for them, though, came in the comments section of this article about a 500 year old book that was found in an attic in Sandy, Utah. Commenter Gsfish said, imagine 500 years from now. Now imagine that someone finds a disk with digital books on it. They won't have much of a chance of reading them with technology in that time even if the files stayed intact. However, this book will be 1,000 years old by then and still be readable. Books rule!
I couldn't have said it better myself.