Books may not be an essential survival tool but they can help you keep your sanity and hey - none of our books ever run out of batteries! Plus, they work even better at home in front of the fire, with a nice cup of cocoa and maybe a cat curled up in your lap. A Kindle can't do that. Going to SE Asia or walking the Camino? Do your homework with March of the Warmduschers or John Brierly's guide book. Or just grab a Lonely Planet.