Use your e-reader to jumpstart civilization

By Randy Augsburger

Ever since the movie The Time Machine asked us which three books we would pick to restart civilization, the debate has raged amongst time travelers. What three books would you take?

With the technology we have in this time period we don’t have to limit ourselves to lugging around three books anymore. We have e-readers some of which can store 2000+ down loaded books.

This expands our options many fold. Below are few things I think you should consider while you are picking your reading material for whatever time period you may find yourself in.

photo by Andrew Mason

Survival manuals
The first order of business for any time traveler is to keep your butt alive. There are a plethora of survival manuals available for download onto your e-reader. Pick several and you will have just about everything you could think of covered.

The Bible
Being a Chrisitan of course I am going to include the Bible, but even if you are not you should still consider it. There is all sorts of advice in this book for living a successful life. From handling your money and interpersonal relationships all the way to setting up a government. Even if you don’t take the advice offered you can avoid the mistakes of those who have their history recorded in it.

Harvard five foot shelf of books
What can I say about this, other than these are the classics all in one place. Plus they are available electronically now so use up some of your storage space to include the whole set.

Books on homesteading will help you set of a self-sustaining agricultural enterprise. These techniques can be used on a small personal holding or expanded into a whole agricultural based economy.

You can also include some department of agriculture annual reports from the early 20th century. These read like how-to manuals for agriculture.

Find some medical texts designed with laymen in mind. Be sure to include these with any more advanced medical sources you want to take with you.

Some chemistry text and basic lab work would be good. It would be great to be able to manufacture antibiotics whenever you find yourself.

Basic electronics
Basic electronic books will go a long way toward getting basic electrical machinery built. Who knows you may need to educate someone to help you with repairs on your own time machine.

Science fair projects
This may sound like a stupid selection but just think of what science fairs are. These are kids building advanced prototypes or demonstrating advanced technology using what they can scrape together at home. Lots of good ideas can come from science fair books.

Blacksmithing/Machine shop
Basic blacksmithing and machining might be far advanced or old hat depending when you find yourself. It is a good idea to include varied texts on the topic.

Us Military manuals
These manuals have all kinds of interesting uses. I would avoid the specific use ones like Field Maintenance of the A10 Warthog unless of course you are traveling specifically to look for one.

Scan your own
If all else fails several e-reader formats can read PDF files. If you can’t find an electronic copy of the text you want to take with you, simply scan it and download it yourself.

When traveling with your e-reader don’t forget a padded case and a charger that you don’t have to plug into an outlet. E-readers without lighted screens have several times the battery life of the lighted ones.

With modern e-readers rebuilding civilization is easier than ever. If you plan ahead there should be no excuse for failure.

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