Skyrim Special Edition
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Epic Crab

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About this mod

Sure, lore books are nice, but what if you could use them for something?

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Legendary Edition

So let's say you want to make scrolls, or you're using the new Spell Research mod. Maybe you're even using that anachronistic printing press in Legacy of the Dragonborn. So you open up your crafting menu, ready to transcribe your book, but it turns out you need rolls of paper to do that, because everyone just assumes you have those (even I'm guilty of that). But where exactly are you supposed to get them? They're practically nowhere in vanilla. You can always use ruined books if you find them, but why can't you use any of the three dozen regular books you're probably carrying around? Is unlimited arcane power really less important to you than reading the 36 Sermons again?

Or let's say you're using Frostfall, and just hanging out around Mount Anthor. You're freezing to death, and you want to start a fire, but you need some fuel, which you didn't bring with you because you thought you'd go foraging when you needed to. But you don't have time to forage now; the exposure's already flashing and the only way you'll be safe is if you light that fire now. You've got some perfectly good books, but you can't use them because they aren't ruined. Apparently you value the sanctity of books over your own life.

Well, I say no more! Down with literacy! Long live utility and illiteracy!

Out of the Box
  • Get a new power - 'Destroy Books'
  • Any book from Skyrim or the DLC's can be destroyed for rolls of paper. Picture your manly Nord barbarian just taking that book and ripping it apart. Yeah. Just really shredding that thing. So manly.
  • Longer books will give you more rolls of paper. That's right, the blood-scrawled note you found on some dude's corpse absolutely uses less paper than the saga about that one time Tiber Septim beat the Tribunal - of course you're getting more paper out of those books.

But Wait! That's Not All!
  • Dynamic patching! Do you have any idea how many mods add books? Like half my load order probably adds a book or two. Why can't I burn those?
  • You totally can! All literacy must be purged!
  • xEdit patching: Copy the "Edit Scripts" folder from this mod into your Tes5Edit folder. Then stick your whole load order into Tes5Edit, right click, and pick "Apply Script", then Generate Project Illiteracy.
  • zEdit patching: Add the ProjectIlliteracyPatcher*.zip to zEdit as a module, then build your zPatch. Even simpler in <current year>! Always remember to thank mator for writing a lot of Pascal so the rest of us don't have to.
  • That's it! That's all it takes to destroy every book in Skyrim!

Order Now and We'll Throw In Campfire Support For Free!

If you're running Campfire, the xEdit script will automatically detect that and generate recipes for burning books for fuel and replenishing your fires. Campfire is a soft dependency in the script, so if you aren't using Campfire, the script will still work. Note that to avoid cluttering your crafting list at fires, you will only be able to burn books within 60 seconds of using the Destroy Books power. Trust me, it's much better this way.

Due to the way this is implemented, destroying your fire may return some ruined books to you, not the original books. I think that's fair though, setting them on fire pretty much ruins books.

Installation and Usage Notes:
To install, download and install with your mod manager of choice, or manually if you hate not overwriting important assets. Move the Edit Scripts folder from the Archive into your xEdit folder.
Using the Generate Project Illiteracy script will generate a second esp. This is safe to merge with the original esp, but for ease of use, that's not recommended, since your patch will most likely have a dependency on most of your load order - if you want to remove a mod that adds a book you'll have to regenerate the patch and rebuild the merge.
You're intended to generate a new patch every time you run the script. Running the script while a patch already exists will create duplicate recipes.
You may be able to destroy books that are quest items with this mod. There's no way to make that differentiation in an xEdit script. Don't do that, obviously. I'm not taking responsibility if you do.