Throughout my life I’ve chased down old, obscure books on a variety of topics relevant to bushcraft. Often it was like detective work, finding references to something rare then tracking them down with the help of librarians and book dealers. When the internet came along it changed all that, making it easy to research and search for rare books. Now ebook readers are changing it all again.
This morning I sat with a cup of coffee and my copy of “Primitive Travel And Transportation” by Otis Tufton Mason. Printed in 1896, my copy shows it’s age with yellow pages, a missing cover, and a spine that’s 85 percent gone. I searched for a copy of this amazing book for two years before finding one, and have learned a great deal from reading it several times. Now you can get it for free, instantly. There are many old books in my library that tell a similar story; old, obscure and long out of print, now available instantly for free.
I wonder if these resources will be valued by younger generations who’ve never had to search for them and have always had access with the click of a mouse. I hope so.