The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an open-world RPG with an extreme depth of lore. The main quest is fairly elaborate and the side-quests are countless. There are references to the events in previous Elder Scrolls games, and intricate histories and cultural norms for each of the 10 playable races. With this much information to enjoy, it's sometimes hard for players to really experience the complexity of the entire game.
I am a "completionist." I call myself this because I can't leave any stone unturned or any quest unfulfilled. I need to experience every aspect of the game, which is fairly time-consuming in an open-world setting like Skyrim. In my endless quest to complete the endless amount of quests in Skyrim, I ended up reading every book that the developers wrote. There are over 450 readable books in Skyrim and, while some help develop your skills, most are just interesting to develop the world's lore.
This slideshow is a compilation of some of the most interesting books in Skyrim that you may have overlooked. Some elaborate on the history of the area, some develop your understanding of the races and their customs, and some are just fun to read. Which ones are your favorite?
I love playing as "beast" characters, so the Khajiit have always been one of my favorite races. That being said, I did not really know much about the race, outside of the fact that they're wandering traders in Skyrim and often fantastic thieves.
This book goes more into the cultural norms of the Khajiit. As the author says, most of the information was passed down orally, and this is the first time it was compiled for others to learn about the Khajiiti way of life. Ahzirr Trajijazaeri covers a lot of information, but is written almost playfully, so it's both an educational and fun read. Topics include "It Is Necessary To Run Away", "Kill Without Qualm", and "We Justly Take By Force".
The author is straight-forward and no nonsense, but also a bit sassy. In the section "Enjoy Life", they write:
Life is short. If you have not made love recently, please, put down this book, and take care of that with all haste. Find a wanton lass or a frisky lad, or several, in whatever combination your wise loins direct, and do not under any circumstances play hard to get. Our struggle against the colossal forces of oppression can wait.
The Khajiit are hedonistic, taking their simple pleasures seriously. They laugh at their enemies' idiocy, make lewd jokes, and enjoy taking moon sugar. That being said, there is a seriousness that underlies their race; they are facing oppression and will fight it with their last breaths. However, the whole time they face their adversaries, they will be smiling; they know their victories are assured, and that their smiles drive their adversaries insane.
Interested? Read it here.
This book is one of my favorites in Skyrim to read. While it is a skill book that increases your Lockpicking skill, the author's tone is quite amusing, and the repeatable quotes are plentiful.
The author is a simple thief. They repeat this multiple times, reminding their reader that, while they are a good thief, they're not as good of a writer. That being said, their book covers some interesting concepts about lockpicking, such as how to deal with touchy springs and the best lockpicks to use.
The book itself is very short, but it is pretty funny. The last lines of the book are pure gold too:
Some thieves can't read. If you can't read, get someone to read this book to you. It will make more sense then.
If you liked that quote, then you'll like the rest, which you can read here.
This book is part of a collection of "Dwemer" tales, though the origin of the stories and the real author have been contested by Skyrim historians. These arguments over the true origins are added as appendices in each story of the series, which is a nice touch to the realism in the game.
This tale is a tale of romance. A rich man has a beautiful, strong, intelligent daughter with a boring personality. That being said, she has plenty of suitors since her father is offering a large dowry. The father decides to weed out her suitors by offering multiple tests that they must pass.
The first test is a test of monetary worth. The rich man wants the suitors to prove that they're not after his daughter's dowry. A lot of suitors fail this, but many pass. One man in particular, Welyn, was impressively adorned. The second test was a test of intelligence. More suitors failed, but Welyn again became the favorite.
However, the rich man wanted his daughter to be happy, so he made a last test; the suitors must make her smile. As the daughter had an unimpressive personality, everyone failed. However, Welyn made a counter-offer; if he and the daughter became engaged,he would make her laugh in the beginning of the engagement.
I'm not going to spoil the end of the story, but it's definitely worth the read. Welyn is a likeable character, and his secret at the end is great. Learn his secret here.
Unlike my previous choices, The Argonian Account is actually a series consisting of four books. These books are different segments of Scotti's misadventures on the same quest to improve a trading route.
Scotti is a senior clerk for a trading company and, after completing one big job, hadn't done anything work-related for months. However, through the stories he recounted, people seemed to think he was actually really good at his job. Through a series of events, Scotti gets the important job of fixing the Black Marsh account, which requires him to travel to Argonian territory and meet with investors.
Scotti was out-of-shape from his laziness, so he really was not in the best condition to quest. Additionally, he knew nothing of the account or the dangers of the Black Marsh. In four books, he loses documents, gets accidentally kidnapped, almost attacked by raiders, nearly eaten alive by multiple creatures, actually eaten alive by another, paralyzed, halfway drowned, double-crossed, and laughed at several times. Somehow he actually fixes the problem of the Black Marsh by doing what he apparently does best, being lazy and greedy.
If you're a fan of your protagonist suffering but eventually winning, then this series is for you. It's quite enjoyable, and the beginning is reminiscent of The Hobbit with the reluctant hero.
This book is actually quite interesting. It's a simplified tale of the creation of the world, which I wasn't quite familiar with. Skyrim is one of the only Elder Scrolls games that I've played, so a lot of the original lore was unknown to me.
Anu and Padomay were brothers that entered the Void, which was the beginning. Their existence made Nir come to life. Both brothers loved Nir, but Nir loved Anu. Anu and Padomay ended up fighting over Nir. Long story short, Padomay left for a while and Nir gave birth to Creation, but died because of Padomay's previous actions.
Padomay came back and shattered Creation. Anu did his best to restore the world. The brothers ended up fighting and both were cast out of Time forever. Through their fight and Anu's restoration, two races were left on the world, which later became the other playable races.
This book was a really interesting origin story and tells of the Mythic Age in Skyrim. Read it here.
For those who are interested in The Elder Scrolls history, this book is extremely important. The previous game in the franchise was Oblivion, which occurs approximately 200 years before the events in Skyrim. This book covers the Great War that occurred between the previous game and this one, which sets up the political climate of the game.
The book starts off by discussing the weakness of the Empire and the rise of the Aldmeri Dominion (the Thalmor). Long story short, the Thalmor sent an ambassador to demand outrageous tributes from the Empire, and the Empire declined. In a move of confidence, the Thalmor ambassador revealed the decapitated heads of over a hundred of the Emperor's men, which quite understandably started a war.
The war itself last five years. The Aldmeri advanced into Cyrodiil and sacked the Imperial City, but was eventually overrun by the Empire. To stop the bloodshed, The White-Gold Concordat was made, which ended the war but involved concessions by the Empire. This uneasy truce is the basis for the tense political climate in Skyrim, so it's very helpful to read in order to better understand the current system.
Want all the bloody details yourself? Read it here.
This book is actually in the form of a letter. A spy contacts his master, telling him about an event that took place in the palace where he was spying. The spy had noticed other people who were possibly disloyal to the Prince, but thought nothing of it. However, the Prince was not unintelligent and had noticed the deception. He hired an alchemist to poison someone in his court.
The letter discusses the dinner party that the Prince called for his advisers. The spy was wary after seeing the alchemist, so he didn't eat anything, only mimicked the action. However, the Prince was ready for this deception, and announced that the silverware was poisoned, not the food. Long story short, a spy was caught, but I won't spoil the ending.
This story was also in other Elder Scrolls games, but I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to include it in the list. Read it here.
As mentioned in the title, this book is actually a one-act play. There are only four characters and the story itself is a mystery.
The play commences with the appearance of the Captain of the Imperial Guard. He arrives at Castle Xyr to figure out who froze an Argonian to death during the summer. He is greeted by a Dunmer maid, who informs the captain that she is the only one in the castle; the lord and his servants had left. The Captain asks to investigate the castle based on the Argonian's dying ramblings, and the maid has to let him in.
The Captain eventually discovers a secret passageway, which leads to a torture room. It was unclear what the purpose of the torture was, but he searches anyway.
At that moment, his Lieutenant arrives and discusses the case. The fourth member, an Argonian mage, shows up to deliver a magic book. The back of the book includes notes that discuss the particulars of the tortures and the reasoning behind it. However, the Captain still needs to capture the one responsible.
Interested in reading the ending? Check it out here.
This book holds a story of slavery, serial killers, and a young noblewoman. Spoiler Alert: The ending is bittersweet.
The story opens with a young noblewoman going to an armorer repeatedly. While most people thought it strange or a sign of an affair, the armorer actually reveals that the noblewoman was learning the craft of refining blades.
The scene changes to a room filled with slavers. They discuss a serial killer who has been killing people involved in the slave trade. They are on the hunt for him or her. One of the slavers is asked to give his blade for the hunt, but he declines. Instead, he's focusing on marrying his daughter off.
Later, the slaver's daughter sneaks out, delivering her father's blade to a Khajiit slave. The slave is the serial killer, striking out against the trade that held him captive, using a weapon from one of the business' leaders. The noblewoman repairs the weapon when he is done killing, so her father will be none the wiser. Their teamwork, however, suddenly faces trouble when the Khajiit is injured... but that's all I'm going to reveal.
If you want to know the end of the tale, then you should read it here. Note: This story was also featured in Oblivion.
This book is a great one, because it contains recipes! As a Baker (pun intended), I really enjoy food, so I was excited to actually find recipes that I could make. (Other books contain recipes, but those relied on mythical beasts, so I couldn't really make those).
The two recipes in this book are Sunlight Souffle' and Potage le Magnifique. Some of the measurements are medieval, such as a flagon of flour, so you may have to estimate a little on measurements. That being said, all the ingredients are real, so I'm assuming that you can actually make these recipes. The oven temperature is "moderately hot", so you may have to search the Internet for souffle temperatures.
That being said, I think it would be pretty awesome to cook food that people ate in Skyrim, using Skyrim's own recipe. Check it out here.
With over 450 books in Skyrim, there are obviously ones that did not make the list. That doesn't mean that they aren't enjoyable. As an extra bonus, here are some interesting quotes from some other books in Skyrim.
"Zuuk," said Empress Tavia. "I'm bored. Let's discuss methods of assassinating my husband today."
If I have to hear one more time about that famous gourmet who wrote that recipe book, I'll hack off my own ears with a blunt axe. Sure, he can cook up some dishes fit for them stodgy Imperials and them poncy Bretons, but real Nords want real Nord food, and my chaurus pie is just that.
During pregnancy, the Queen had been more than twice as wide as she was tall, and the act of delivery took three months and six days after it had begun. It is perhaps understandable that the Lahpyrcopa elected, upon expelling Eslaf to frown, say, 'Good riddance,' and die.
The only thing I now understand for certain is this: if the agents of the Aldmeri Dominion cannot have your soul, then they will take your very life.
Adrianne is quite fair, but I should not want to find myself being introduced to the keen edge of that husband's war-axe. If married ladies are your preferred sport, then have at, but don't say that you weren't warned!
Skyrim, not so bad if you don't mind the smell of mammoth.
Little boys shouldn't summon up the forces of eternal darkness unless they have an adult supervising, I know, I know.