Before boarding a seven-hour plane ride, I prepared in perhaps the most average way possible: I downloaded all 337 books of Skyrim onto the iBooks app on my computer. And on that plane ride, I found a grand treasure that I never considered delving into over my hundreds of hours of gameplay.
To me, Skyrim has been a source of great imagination and wonder from the peaks of High Hrothgar to the depths of any of the seemingly endless Dwarven ruins. It is my favorite game ever, but until such a clear opportunity presented itself, I had never spent more than 20 seconds on a given book during gameplay.
And while nothing unveiled itself as even remotely important to my previous enjoyment of the game, reading a selection of the many books of Skyrim was a great experience on this plane ride. Skipping around the table of contents, I would look around for a title that seemed interesting and dive in. Volumes are accessible and easy to consume, as each title lasts around seven pages or fewer. There are many books I could cover in this review, but I’ll highlight a few of my favorites.
If you’ve completed the quest “The Mind of Madness”, you’re well aware of the complete ridiculousness present in Shegorath’s chaotic imagination. If you’re unfamiliar, do yourself a favor and read this book, which features a deranged person that most likely recently went through the same process that the Dragonborn did, and has completely lost his mind.
It’s a short one but represents a style of writing that is featured heavily in the library of Skyrim, of selections that are purely based on silliness. Find out where you can find the book here.
The Dunmer of Skyrim
The main conflict of Skyrim is portrayed as the great Civil War between the Stormcloaks and Imperials. But within that conflict exist many others, namely the xenophobia of the Nords against most other races within Skyrim. And one of the most striking examples of Nordic oppression lies within their treatment of the Dunmer.
Athal Sarys, author of this excerpt, doesn’t pull his punches when describing his people’s lived experience; “You Nords don’t come to the Gray Quarter, do you? You fear our streets as you fear our skin.”
Get your Skyrim woke points up, and check out this book. You can find it here.
Dragon Language: Myth No More
This volume, composed by Hela Thrice-Versed, is centered around the idea that dragons have a more complex culture than most realize. She made findings about dragon language, translating it into the conventional human alphabet and then into sensical Nordic English: “One spanning 17 months and the deaths of three courageous guides and two sellsword protectors.”
This book cleanly falls under the category of educational, as it exposes the secrets of dragon language and brings them into plain sight. Of course, with any language translation, the direct meaning of one language can’t be truly converted, but this is still the best look we have into dragon culture.
The volume ends with an oddly foretelling note: “And someday, someday, we may even unlock the strange, unknown power hidden in their words.”
I bet you thought The Lusty Argonian Maid was going to be featured here… well you’re wrong. It was an awful read. The memes about The Lusty Argonian Maid are solely based in the silliness of thinking about lizard sex. Get your mind out of the gutter! Go out into the world of Skyrim and discover new books! Free your mind!