Over the past few years, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on dozens of books on topics ranging from gardening, foraging, herbal medicine, animal husbandry, off-grid living, food preservation, and anything else you can think of that’s related to homesteading. While I am grateful for the knowledge contained in these books, if I had to live off-grid with just one book at my disposal, it would be THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COUNTY LIVING by Carla Emery.

I’m not getting paid to write this. Seriously, COUNTRY LIVING may be the one and only book you ever need to buy for information on survival, homesteading, or rural living. At over 900 pages, it covers every topic you can imagine, and if you need a deeper dive into a topic, Emery gives generous references to other books and resources.

If you’re at all interested in any homesteading activities, hobbies, or DIY creations, don’t hesitate to buy this book, as I did. I’d kept hearing about COUNTRY LIVING from fellow homesteaders, and it oftentimes came up as a top pick on homesteading booklists. I finally purchased it for about twenty bucks on AbeBooks, and I’m glad I did.

It’s a huge book, about the size of a telephone book or print dictionary. If it’s ever made available as a hardcover, I would buy that. I’ve seen it available with spiral binding, but I’m not sure if that would be significantly better than the paperback.