While a lot of great content is available on the internet, including this site 😉, books are still your best bet for in-depth and comprehensive information.
If you have been on the internet for a while, you realize that any wackjob, including myself, can start a website and spout whatever they want. There is no threshold of competence required. And while I love the internet and wide range of information available on a whim, I also like that confident feeling of peer reviewed authority that a published book usually carries. You can take books anywhere and they never give you a “low battery” warning (unless it is an ebook).
I have read many dozens of books on topics ranging from Earth sheltering to Electrical wiring, as well as books on topics beginning with other letters. I always read the authors credentials before I decide if I can trust what they have to say. There are some really terrible books out there, but thanks to the difficulty in getting something published, those are the exception.
You can get books from the library, and the majority of the books I read were from there, but I have found that they are often pretty out of date. This is a problem for time sensitive books based on the building codes for a given year or for getting access to the latest research. However, since my local library also has some earth sheltered books published in the 1970’s that are hard to buy today, I lucked out. I also have a bit of a problem with forgetting to return books on time and the fines add up (but I don’t mind “donating” to my local library). My favorite part about the library is that you can find groups of books that you can browse while still in the stacks and then leave behind in a great big discard pile as you carry a slightly smaller “investigate further” pile to the checkout counter. I usually end up purchasing my favorites from that reduced set.
I also love book stores. They offer the same opportunity to browse and stumble upon books you may not have known existed. However, book stores stock “popular” books and may not have much of a selection when it comes to earth sheltered reading. The large Barns and Noble near me had no books on earth sheltering and only one book on electrical. Even Home Depot got rid of their book section (they still sell one book in their wiring department) and Lowes only had a very small selection.
Fortunately, there is a thing that combines the best of the internet and books… Amazon lets you buy books on line! The selection is very wide. They are almost always cheaper (even after shipping) than the book store and they arrive in a couple days. Many let you preview the books and read reviews. Actually, Amazon is a pretty good way to buy lots of things, but books are especially convenient. Here are my list of the best books (and warnings about some of the worst)…
- Concrete books (links to come)
- Earth sheltered books (links to come)
- Electrical Books