Be a Prepper: Food? Check. Ammo? Check. And … Buy Some Real Books!

Written by S.C. Sherman on November 23, 2013

A lot of people are preparing for the end. Whether it’s Armageddon or the End Times or just an EMP or a Nuke taking out our vulnerable power grid, people are preparing for cataclysmic events. We don’t know for sure what’s going to be our undoing, but it’s coming. It could be that a pandemic will kill most of us? Don’t forget the popular “Asteroid Death”? There are a lot of asteroids up there that could annihilate us at any minute. You never know … I mean, where are the dinosaurs?

What are we to do? Prepare of course. Well, how do you prepare for the end of the world? Mostly prepping consists of buying lots of stuff to be ready for anything. The first time I ever thought about the world really crashing, it was for Y2K. Remember that? That was when the world as we knew it was coming to an end because our computers were going to explode on December 31st at midnight. Kaboom! Didn’t happen … it might have spurred the 1999 economy a bit though.

Most recently, we had the Mayan’s predicting 2012 was the end of all things. Even without those kinds of events exterminating mankind, it’s a good idea to prepare for disasters. You know, things like hurricanes, floods, and the occasional Zombie infestation. People mostly buy freeze-dried food, water purifiers, fire starters, guns, guns, and more guns and plenty of ammo, oh yeah, knives, bags, tents, saws, gold, silver, coffee, and whiskey. Maybe even grow a garden with some heirloom seeds or get chickens and a cow. These are all noble things to do and you are definitely a “prepper” if you’ve done them, but here is something to think about for your bug out location, a bookshelf.

Okay, Joe Prepper, have you realized that your teen-ager is going to be locked up in your underground, air-purified, metal-tube of a Hobbit-hole-home with no cell phone, texting, tweeting, Face-booking, snap-chatting, or internet? What will they do? Will they pull out the trusty Kindle and read a novel to pass the time while you reload casing after casing? No, the Kindle is no good. You can’t waste fuel on running the generator just to charge up a screen-based reading device. No way. You will need real books. You know what I mean right? A book with a cover and paper in it … the kind with words on pages. It turns out they are pretty cool. Think of it as retro, throwback, or old school. You can hold them in your hands, read them, put them on a shelf, and gaze on them with satisfaction. Then you can pick one you really like, and read it again. Hey, be crazy, no second download fee required. It’s yours to keep. You could even underline something you thought profound for future reference with an old-fashioned ink-pen. What good will a stylus do you?

Full disclosure. I am an author and a capitalist. I have four novels published. Four different genres, perfect for you bomb shelter. Now would be a good time for you to go buy all four of them from my website: Of course, you could go to Amazon. My books are on there and in full Kindle glory for convenient and affordable digital download. However, consider buying local … if you buy a paper book from an author’s personal site, it’s like buying at a small town store. You really support the author, not big business. Okay, there’s my plug.

I was prompted to write this article because I personally realized I hadn’t picked up a paper book in awhile. My screen time was through the roof! Everything in our world is spinning around the screen. I yell at my kids to go out and play, quit staring at that screen, as I read another screen-based article, write more words for screen only publication, and scroll the news of the day … on a screen. Guilty, hypocrite parent 101!

So, I left my phone, and my laptop in the kitchen, and went to the room that has our “bookshelf”. I noticed along the top a complete row of Zane Grey novels. They all match and each hardback spine is a little dirty. I pulled one down and opened it up, thumbing the pages. The Riders of the Purple Sage. The pungent smell of old paper filled my nostrils. I inhaled deeply. It was a comforting, rich, smell that enveloped my heart with peace. Then I noticed in handwritten ink on the title page, Clyde Welcher-Greenfield, IA. You see, Clyde was my mom’s grandpa. I realized he was the one who’d dirtied these novels. His working mans hands had held this book and his eyes had read these pages.

My great-grandpa had smelled that paper aroma. I was instantly connected to him and all the years that separated us disappeared. He read this story when there was no 24 hour television, internet, blogs, social media, preppers, or anything technology based like a Kindle-Fire. Without those distractions people still craved entertainment and a good story. Paper books provided that for centuries and for those who dare to try it, they still do.

So when you are prepping for the end-of-the-world, don’t forget the entertainment. Buy some paper books, make a habit of it. Build a collection over time. If the end-of-days turns out to not be for another thousand years, maybe your great-grandkid will pick up a book you enjoyed and enjoy it too. What’s that worth? Priceless.

S.C. Sherman’s newest book titled MERCY SHOT and will make a great 2A gift for Christmas. A truly unique gun-related story…you won’t put it down. Check it out at Order now for a signed copy at

S.C. Sherman
S.C. Sherman grew up a farm kid in rural Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Communications Studies. Steve is a business owner, and recently ran for Iowa State House of Representatives.. S.C. enjoys political commentary and great stories. He has written three fiction novels found at He currently lives with his wife and four children in North Liberty, Iowa.