Read Reader's Digest Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills by Reader's Digest Association Online


This how-to, user-friendly guide teaches self-sufficiency-covering all of life's essentials: shelter; alternative energy sources; growing and preserving food; home crafts; directions for making herbal remedies; and even home-grown entertainment....

Title : Reader's Digest Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780895770868
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 456 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Reader's Digest Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills Reviews

  • Sylvester
    2018-12-04 12:18

    I must have read through this book several times as a kid/teen - my Dad's book, of course, just his kind of thing. And pretty much his life - our life. No electricity, living off the land to a great degree... Good memories. I'd love to leaf through it again!This book has it all - how to do everything from scratch. Build a home, raise livestock, plant a garden, amongst other things.

  • Laura
    2018-12-16 11:26

    If a bear mauls you, don't wash the wound out with peroxide. You may end up having something unneccessarily amputated. (For some reason that is the piece of advice that stuck with me from this book.) This book tells you how to build your log cabin from scratch, how to find water in the desert, and loads of other useful things. Thank you, Matthew Petty.

  • Stephanie A.
    2018-12-16 09:24

    I've been reading this since I was a kid. It started just because I liked looking at all the animal pictures (though I could never stomach the idea of killing/eating them), and gradually branched out into every chapter. I will probably never apply any of this information in a practical way, but it has provided countless hours of daydreaming and creatively writing about what I could do with the right equipment and level of determination. What I really love is how vast and varied the information is - from impossibly complex things like farming crops or harvesting natural energy, to camping suggestions and simple ideas for recreation.

  • Deodand
    2018-12-12 07:38

    Every time I see this book at my parent's house, I pick it up. There's something about the depth of the material here, the insane level of illustration, that draws me to this book. My father has kept this book to hand for decades. He is the only person I know who's had the opportunity to apply a fraction of the knowledge contained in this tome.This book explains how to do everything the old-fashioned way - and I do mean everything. You have to have held this book in your hands to get it. If a nuclear bomb went off I'd have this book in my shelter - heck, I could probably use it as a shelter.

  • Vonda
    2018-12-05 07:39

    This is not the first time I have checked this book of my library. This time I am viewing it with fresh eyes. I no longer am interested in this topic, I now have a need to absorb this topic.. good examples and pictures make this book very user friendly for those of us who wish or need to return to a simpler way of living a sustainable lifestyle. Topics covered are once again very timely. Canning, live stock, rural farming, husbandry, and even a gallery of fish. I definitely believe this is a book worth keeping handy as a reference. we can count on Reader's Digest to keep us straight. The book was published in 1981.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-16 14:28

    I grew up reading this book. It captured my deep desire for living off the land, using the things that surround you and keeping the older crafts alive. I still enjoy flipping through it to learn how to build a log cabin, extract honey from a hive, or how to plant and cultivate celery. It's a fabulous do-it-yourself guide on slowing down and doing for yourself. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in living off the land!

  • Linda
    2018-11-20 08:15

    I love this book, have owned it since the 1980s, and have lent it to daughters more than once; currently cannot find it so may have to buy another copy.

  • E. Maria Thomas
    2018-11-29 15:19

    A great how-to book on just about everything. Detailed info, along with pix, make it easy to follow. This one is a keeper to refer back to time and time again.

  • Celeste Rule
    2018-12-06 07:23

    Grew up with this book in our house and I finally ordered it for myself. Very informative if you're into this sort of thing.

  • Amanda
    2018-11-18 13:17

    This is one of the most-used books in our house. This is the go-to source for all things self-sufficiency. It's not comprehensive, but it gives enough information to get a good start in whatever it is you're interested in. There is little in the way of self-sufficient skills that this valuable volume does not touch on: finding, buying, and building on land; energy sources; raising fruits, vegetables, and livestock; skills and crafts (the handy kind like weaving, woodworking, and soapmaking); and outdoor pursuits like fishing and hiking. Need a recipe for wallpaper paste? Can't decide which kind of waterwheel or turbine would be best for your stream? Want to know how to grow peanuts? Interested in building a food smoker? Curious how one milks a goat? I've got your book right here.[Note: This review was excerpted from a post on my blog. You can read the whole thing here.]

  • Kim
    2018-12-13 08:14

    From farming to heating and cooling, from flower pressing to hiking, this book has brief instruction on a number of pre-industrial skills. It is basic and introductory in its instruction. For example, this is not the book to start with if you want to learn finish carpentry, but it does have some basic wood-working instruction. It is a handy general reference in a quaint, romanticizing the pioneer days - in vogue since the 70s apparently, really raging now - kind of way. And while a number of these skills will require additional reference materials - the metal working section is really bare bone - there's enough to get you started.

  • Andrea
    2018-12-02 12:37

    I want to work on gradually becoming more self sufficient. This book has massive amounts of information. It talks about planning your house so that it is more efficient, getting water, providing heat, creating energy, growing a garden, raising animals, preserving produce, recipes, making syrup, dying fabric, spinning, weaving, making rugs, making brooms, metalwork, woodwork, soapmaking, basketry and lots more. I'm sure there are other topic specific books that will provide more information, but this is a great starter book that has helped me become aware of some of the things I need to think about in my quest for self sufficiency.

  • Gayle
    2018-11-26 07:17

    This is such a nice book to look at and dream of living in the wilds of Tasmania with chickens and alpacas and living off your garden. Not likely to ever happen, but good daydream. My dad gave me this for Xmas about 15 years ago. It tells you in brief how to do just about everything crafty and self sufficient. I want to keep bees, make cheese and build a refectory table in my daydream too! Oh, and get a goat and weave it a coat of course.

  • Jess Trebanna
    2018-11-28 09:31

    I spent so many hours as a little kid poring over the pages of this book. I always spent the most time on the cabin-building pages, promising myself I'd learn and use the techniques mentioned in the book to build my own cabin someday. Key word, someday! lol! You never know, I might get there yet. And if I do, it will be partly thanks to Back to Basics.

  • Bridget Chapman
    2018-12-04 11:39

    My mom got this book from the Reader's Digest Book Club when I was about seven, and I have been poring over it ever since. Marty & I call it "The Book". It's a great guide from everything to building your own house, to raising chickens & goats, to tinsmithing, to a recipe for an authentic New England clambake. How-to guide for would-be pioneer folks. Love it!!!

  • Margaret
    2018-11-20 08:42

    I love this book. It was given as a gift by a Manhattanite friend when we moved "up country" More of a project or reference book, it covers everything from woodwork to soap making to animal husbandry. I might never want to do all the things in the book but at least if I ever have to, I'll know how

  • Wayne
    2018-12-15 07:27

    A bit of quick, light reading for the experienced homesteader, or a veritable handbook for the beginner. This book was my bible for years. I built my oldest child's cradle from a plan in this book. It gives you (sparse, over-simplified) instructions on selecting land, building on it, growing food, cooking it, and entertaining yourself the old fashioned way.

  • PJ
    2018-12-14 11:40

    My parents had a copy of this when I was growing up and I appreciate it in a new light now as an adult. TONS of great information packed into one book, highly-recommended. I don't give it 5 stars because of the animal-agriculture aspects of some chapters. :)

  • Samantha
    2018-12-10 07:12

    This book is great. It was published in 1981, so there are current publications that have current issues. But I like this one because it has wonderful how-to's if I decided to move to the mountains of New Mexico with my husband and play hermit. It's a survival guide for the city runaway.

  • Travis
    2018-11-18 14:31

    This book is the how to version of Farmer Boy, for the 70's. Its awesome, how to build a log cabin, how to build a solar hot water heater, how to build a methane digester! Could use an updated for the 00's.

  • Tara Lynn
    2018-11-24 15:40

    I adore this book, a hand-me-down from my mother who also has a green thumb. A quote from Brad that may help explain things: "I'm not hearing you tell me that you spent your Friday night churning I?"

  • Amanda Lynn
    2018-11-25 07:16

    I have used this book more than any other in my home besides the phone book. Great info and pictures. Lots of fun for wintertime to come up with projects to do on cold days like making root beer or wine, A great section on canning ( Tomato marmalade is the best damn thing) and soap making.

  • Craig Knock
    2018-12-06 14:31

    The greatest book ever written by mankind. Convert your poop to household energy. Build a hydro-electric generator in your back yard. Employ passive solar heating to maximum effect in your household. Turn your above ground pool into an aquarium that feeds the family. Greatness.

  • David Handley
    2018-12-09 07:19

    My dad purchased this book for me when I was just a kid and through the years I have read, re-read and then referenced it again many times! It is full of illustrations and step by step instructions for the many skills it describes for the home gardner, hobby farmer, and nature lover.

  • Nick
    2018-11-18 15:19

    I am not a seperatist but this book makes me want to be. Thanks to this book, I know that when the shit hits the fan, I'll be able to milk my own goat, can my own fruit and make doll heads out of dried apples. BOOYAH!

  • Jeanne
    2018-12-02 10:19

    Although published in the 1980s, this book seems outdated. Funny, because when I think of "Back to Basics", I think of skills that are timeless. However, even in the "Back to Basics" movement, there have been many advances.

  • Zola
    2018-12-11 10:14

    My parents passed this book down to me, and though I've not read it cover-to-cover I've been very pleased with the information I've found in it thus far! It has a particularly good article on how to make your own moccasins. A good resource to have around to keep the old ways alive :)

  • Jorgina
    2018-12-11 14:29

    I think I have this book. Guess I should dust it off and read it finally.

  • Reza
    2018-11-27 09:20

    Gutting a pig-check. Building a stone wall-check. Making key lime pie-check. This book has it all and likely teaches you to make the kitchen sink as well.

  • Ellen
    2018-12-06 07:21

    Holy crap! 12-12-12 is on its way. Prepare yourself for the apocolypse!