You don't need a Kindle!....

You don't need to own a Kindle reader to read these books! You can read them on the internet or with the free Kindle apps for your computer, tablet, or smartphone:
...The Cloud Reader is automatically there when you have an Amazon account; you’ll see it under the buy button. In Cloud Reader, the books are stored on the internet and read on the web page.
...To download free Kindle reading apps for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, IPad, or Android Magnet, go here:


About (Q & A)

Q & A

(Please submit more questions if you have some)

Who are you and why do you do this?

I’m a busy mom of 7 (aged 4 up to 20) who gets up anytime between 4 am and 6 am when the house is quiet to start finding books!  I love books; I love farming and self-sufficiency (Mennonite heritage) and am a new preparer.  I also love fiction and hope to write someday.  All this combines in this blog.  I’m not a hardcore internet business person and am vulnerable to the best kinds of interruption (family!)
hahahahahahaha! Yeah, it's really us. I should have been a spy. ;)

How long does this take you every day?

3-6 hours a day.  2 hours would be the barest minimum, but that very rarely happens, maybe once a month.    I could get the non-fiction done in 2 hours, but the fiction takes a lot longer because there are more to wade through, plus descriptions to choose.  I also try to enter “blog hops” when I can so that more people can find the blog.

How does your family feel about it? 

The part before they wake up, they’re fine about!  :D

Why do you have Amazon affiliate links and buttons?

A very kind reader in the early days of this blog told me that I should become an affiliate.  I didn’t really see the point because the books are almost all free anyway, but it wasn’t too much extra trouble.  I found that sometimes people would pick up free books, then go on to purchase things from Amazon, and I would get a little commission.  It amounted to about $1 per hour I spent on the blog. :D

When I realized how much time this was taking each day to do a decent job, and how my family was noticing and wondering, I felt I needed to let people know so that they would have the option of helping on purpose instead of just by accident.  I felt that people who got many books here might be willing to help me make it more worth it to my family, the “losing” me for a while each day.  And it really did help.  See here for where I first mentioned it.

Why do the posts come out at different times of day?  I never know when to check.

In winter, the kids have been sleeping in and I’ve been waking early, so the posts are often done earlier.  As the days lengthen and kids wake up earlier for breakfast, I have to stop to get them fed, take them to school or start them doing their schoolwork here, do some other tasks, etc.  On days there’s a doctor’s appointment or a friend popping in or both, or something else like illness, I may not get it published until after lunch.  And because I’m in the west, it’s even later for you easterners.  I make a real effort to get up early though.

How can I stop missing posts? 

There are a few ways.

1.  “Like” the Prep Utility Vehicle Facebook page.  I opened one a while ago but didn’t know what to do with it so it sat mostly empty, until only just recently I started posting a link to the latest post each day as soon as I published it on the blog.  This would be the quickest notification, as long as you actually use Facebook in the afternoons and/or evenings.  If you are wary of Facebook, you can probably open an identity with no personal information and “like” it with that.

2. Bookmark it and remember to check.   This of course depends on you and how much of a habit you make of checking.  If you forget, there’s no way around it, some of the freebies will have expired.  However many are still free for a second day.  I don’t check which ones are except for a few exceptions.

3. There are also the options of subscribing by email or by various readers.  Both of these may involve some delay but are possibly helpful ways of being reminded.  These options are available on the right sidebar of the blog.

How do you decide which books to include?

Well, this blog is aimed at self-reliant people, including preppers and homesteaders (and wannabes), hence the survival, farming, and health topics.  I also include theory as self-reliant people have many different reasons for being that way and may be interested in reading more about those reasons.  The True Account books are usually stories of people who have been through adversity of some kind (war, the Great Depression, life-altering illness, wilderness survival, etc.) or are homesteaders and self-reliant types.  These are both for instruction and inspiration!  I added the Education section recently when I reasoned that many self-reliant people home-school their children and/or like to educate themselves.

As far as sorting the “wheat from the chaff,” I try to check whether certain very common types of books (like weight loss or cookbooks) are genuinely written or of reasonable quality.  Far too many Kindle cookbooks are simply cut and pasted from the internet, often without credit (plagiarized).  Although cooking is a DIY skill, I rarely post a “normal” cookbook unless it’s written by an actual chef, because general recipes are incredibly easy to find all over the internet.  Most of the cookbooks I post have something particularly self-reliant about them. 

This is not to say that all the books on this blog are the best of the best.  For other subjects that are more specialized, like “prepping,” or Great Depression autobiographies, I post almost anything.

Do you read the book reviews before posting them?

Yes!  I often do.  And I also encourage you to leave reviews.  Authentic reviews are so valuable for people like you and me who don’t want to fill up our computers or reading devices with thousands of junk “books.”  I also try to be wise when judging reviews.  You may have heard of “shill reviews,” which are left by friends or often by people PAID to leave glowing reviews.   I check to see whether the reviewers are Amazon Vine (trusted reviewers, see or say “Amazon verified purchase.”  The latter isn't foolproof by any means but makes it more likely the review is genuine (especially for Kindle books as opposed to print).


  1. Hi Natalia: I subscribed a while back and never got any emails sent to me... just tried to subscribe by email again and it said I am already subscribed. Just checking what could be my problem? I found you a month ago by way of Working Pantry. Thanks for your help! Lori

  2. Hello, Lori, and thanks for writing. The email subscriptions are handled by Google, I think, (or maybe Feedburner). Unfortunately I have no jurisdiction over them. I am certainly surprised you haven't gotten ANY; I would expect an annoying delay as another reader told me a while ago that they got their emails the next morning. I can only think of things that you've likely thought of yourself already, like they are going into your junk mail folder automatically.

    I found a topic by doing an internet search.!topic/blogger/7GGjtDnISTQ They are suggesting issues like one's spyware, some conflict with AOL. I also found this regarding a similar issue in Google Groups some of which may apply to Blogger too: 1. Some obscure setting says "web only" 2. spam or bulk mail folder 3. your email service provider blocking all emails from Google products (Blogger is one) 4. Try subscribing with a different email address, from a different service provider. For more details, see that link.

    Another possibility? For me, certain email subscriptions are set up to go to my gmail address, which is not one I check regularly. Maybe the address it's automatically going to is like that?

    That's all I could come up with for now. I hope one of them helps! Any suggestions from others are welcome also.

    Thank you again.

  3. I just found your Facebook page, which led me to your blog. You seem to put a lot of time, heart and soul into this blog. I sincerely pray that the Amazon thing works out, or maybe God will even lead you to something better.

    Myself, I am a Christian, wife, mother, and grandmother. I will be 51 years old in June, but my body feels so much older. There have been several physical problems which I have had to start dealing with over the past 10 years. This keeps me from doing so many things that I would love to do, such as what you are doing: gardening, chickens, learning self-reliance. My husband won't even consider the possibility for the need of preparedness. He is a minister, so his view is that if something happens, God will take care of us. I believe that, but I also believe that God will instruct us to prepare for certain things that will happen in our lives i.e. Noah.

    Saying all of that, I feel torn. I could never do things alone to prepare. My husband even does the shopping. Please pray for us, and I will for you and yours.

    Pam B.