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Skyrim:Skill Books

< Skyrim: Items: Books

Skill books are special books that permanently increase a skill by one point for free. There are five different books for each of the 18 skills, with 90 in total. Unlike trainers, there is no limit to how many skill books you can read at one character level.

  • When you pick up a skill book, you automatically start to read it, and therefore immediately obtain the skill bonus. As with all books, you can read skill books without it being considered theft; theft only occurs if you select to "Take" an owned book while reading it. If you want to save a skill book for later, you can ask your follower to take or steal it for you.
  • Reading a new skill book awards sufficient experience to raise the skill to the next level (though see bugs). Therefore, to gain maximum experience, avoid reading skill books when your skill is about to level up.
  • Reading another copy of a skill book that you have already read will not award any additional experience in that skill.
  • Generally speaking, it's more efficient to read skill books when you are at a fairly high level in that skill, as the time and effort required to increase skills at high levels is much greater. For example, leveling Archery from level 15 to level 16 can be achieved with just a few attacks; thus, using a skill book at this point is a waste. In contrast, leveling Archery from level 60 to 61 requires significantly more attacks, so reading a skill book at this point is more efficient.
  • Making a skill Legendary does not reset skill books, so after a skill has been made Legendary, you will not receive any experience for that skill from any of its skill books that have already been read.
  • Each newly read skill book awards two skill level increases when the Scholar's Insight ability obtained from the Dragonborn quest The Winds of Change is active.


Skill book locations are listed in the following table. With the exception of skill books found on the remains of Seekers in Apocrypha (which will never include unread skill books), they are never found in random loot, and they are never part of a merchant's inventory. Skill books can be easily distinguished from most other books by their value, which is usually at least 50 gold, substantially higher than the value of most other books. They can be sold to any merchants who trade in books, including spell and general goods merchants.

Title (ID) Skill Author Description Location
A Game at Dinner
Alchemy An Anonymous Spy A spy's observations upon poison making and a dinner party
De Rerum Dirennis
Alchemy Vorian Direnni Tales about a creator of Alchemy Science
Herbalist's Guide to Skyrim
Alchemy Agneta Falia A description of alchemy ingredients found in Tamriel's northernmost province, Skyrim
Mannimarco, King of Worms
Alchemy Horicles Biography of Mannimarco, the leader of Necromancers, in verse
Song of the Alchemists
Alchemy Marobar Sul Book 5 of an incomplete series of fictional stories about the Dwemer
Breathing Water
Alteration Haliel Myrm Lessons on water breathing
Daughter of the Niben
Alteration Sathyr Longleat The history of Bravil and its famous statue of the Lucky Old Lady
Reality & Other Falsehoods
Alteration Summary of the basic principles of Alteration magic
Alteration Text detailing an apparent connection between Sithis and Lorkhan
The Lunar Lorkhan
Alteration Fal Droon A theory about the moons Masser and Secunda
Father Of The Niben
Archery Florin Jaliil Translation of the fragmented journal of Topal the Pilot
The Black Arrow, v2
Archery Gorgic Guine Volume two of a story of revenge, and a true master archer
The Gold Ribbon of Merit
Archery Ampyrian Brum A man tutors his old friend in marksmanship
The Marksmanship Lesson
Archery Alla Llaleth How a Bosmer slave teaches his master's son marksmanship
Vernaccus and Bourlor
Archery Tavi Dromio How a short-tempered Daedra tries to make something of himself

(Only locations for the skill book are provided)

A Dance in Fire, v2
Block Waughin Jarth Chapter 2 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
Battle of Red Mountain
Block Vivec The story of the Battle of Red Mountain and the Nerevarine Prophecies from Vivec's perspective
Death Blow of Abernanit
Block Anonymous (with notes by Geocrates Varnus) The death of Dagoth Thras
The Mirror
Block Berdier Wreans About a skilled fighter's showdown with his greatest enemy
Block Reven The third chapter of the adventures of Eslaf Erol
2920, Frostfall, v10
Conjuration Carlovac Townway Volume 10 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
2920, Hearth Fire, v9
Conjuration Carlovac Townway Volume 9 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
Liminal Bridges
Conjuration Camilonwe of Alinor A Discourse On The Theory and Praxis of Traveling Between Mundus and Oblivion
The Doors of Oblivion
Conjuration Seif-ij Hidja The chronicles of Morian Zenas' journey through the realms of Oblivion, penned by his apprentice
The Warrior's Charge
Conjuration An old poem of the Redguards that deals with the constellations
A Hypothetical Treachery
Destruction Anthil Morvir A One Act Play
Horror of Castle Xyr
Destruction Baloth-Kul A One Act Play
Mystery of Talara, v3
Destruction Mera Llykith Part three of the story of Princess Talara
Response to Bero's Speech
Destruction Malviser, Battlemage Commentaries of "Bero's Speech to the Battlemages" book
The Art of War Magic
Destruction Zurin Arctus, with Commentary By Other Learned Masters Mastering the art of winning
A Tragedy in Black
Enchanting The story of a youth summoning a Dremora
Catalogue of Armor Enchantments
Enchanting Yvonne Bienne, Synod researcher An incomplete list of all the spells and armor used in enchanting
Catalogue of Weapon Enchantments
Enchanting Yvonne Bienne, Synod researcher An incomplete list of all the spells and weapons used in enchanting
Enchanter's Primer
Enchanting Sergius Turrianus A guide for novices in enchanting issued by the College of Winterhold
Twin Secrets
Enchanting Brarilu Theran A tale of an enchanter's path to discovering how to weave two enchantments onto one item
2920, MidYear, v6
Heavy Armor Carlovac Townway Volume 6 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
Heavy Armor Marobar Sul Book 6 of a series of fictional stories about the Dwemer Skill books:

Ordinary books:

Hallgerd's Tale
Heavy Armor Tavi Dromio Squabbling over the greatest warrior ever leads to a tale of heavy-armor-master Hlaalu Pasoroth
Orsinium and the Orcs
Heavy Armor Menyna Gsost The story of how Gortwog won the land to the north of Wayrest
The Knights of the Nine
Heavy Armor Karoline of Solitude The founding and breakup of the original Knights of the Nine
2920, Sun's Dawn, v2
Illusion Carlovac Townway Volume 2 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
Before the Ages of Man
Illusion Aicantar of Shimerene Chronicles the major events of the Dawn and Merethic Eras
Incident at Necrom
Illusion Jonquilla Bothe A story about an illusionist
Mystery of Talara, Part 4
Illusion Mera Llykith Part four of the story of Princess Talara
The Black Arts On Trial
Illusion Hannibal Traven, Archmagister of the Mages Guild A summary of the debate which led to the Mages Guild resolution on Necromancy
Ice and Chitin
Light Armor Pletius Spatec A tale of the manipulation of chitin armor
Jornibret's Last Dance
Light Armor Song involving men and women's parts
Rislav The Righteous
Light Armor Sinjin Heroic tales of Rislav Larich, ancient King of Skingrad
The Rear Guard
Light Armor Tenace Mourl How a lone man guards a besieged castle and how he obtains his food
The Refugees
Light Armor Geros Albreigh History of refugees fleeing the Camoran Usurper
Advances in Lockpicking
Lockpicking An experienced thief summarizes the intricacies of lockpicking
Proper Lock Design
Lockpicking Unknown Written as a manual for lock designers, unintentionally helpful to thieves
Surfeit of Thieves
Lockpicking Aniis Noru How a busted robbery gets even worse
The Locked Room
Lockpicking Porbert Lyttumly How a pupil outlocks her cruel lockpick instructor
The Wolf Queen, v1
Lockpicking Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book One
2920, Morning Star, v1
One-handed Carlovac Townway Volume 1 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
Fire and Darkness
One-handed Ynir Gorming The history of the Morag Tong assassin guild
Mace Etiquette
One-handed A warrior's instruction pamphlet on proper mace tactics
Night Falls on Sentinel
One-handed Boali How a knight weeds out an enemy of the king
The Importance of Where
One-handed Marobar Sul Book 3 of an incomplete series of fictional stories about the Dwemer
Aevar Stone-Singer
Pickpocket Traditional Skaal myth about a young Skaal's journey to recover the Gifts of the All-Maker
Pickpocket Reven The first chapter in the adventures of Eslaf Erol
Guide to Better Thieving
Pickpocket Wulfmare Shadow-Cloak A boastful thief discusses the tricks of the trade
Purloined Shadows
Pickpocket Waughin Jarth A chill tale recounting the theft of Nocturnal's cloak
Pickpocket Reven The second chapter of the adventures of Eslaf Erol
2920, Rain's Hand, v4
Restoration Carlovac Townway Volume 4 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
Mystery of Talara, v 2
Restoration Mera Llykith Part two of the story of Princess Talara
Racial Phylogeny
Restoration the Council of Healers, Imperial University About the similarities and differences between the races of Tamriel
The Exodus
Restoration Waughin Jarth The tale of a couple's desperate bid to save their only child
Restoration Yaqut Tawashi A humorous tale of a man's ailment and cure
Cherim's Heart
Smithing Livillus Perus, Professor at the Imperial University Interview with Cherim, a master tapestry weaver
Heavy Armor Forging
Smithing Sven Two-Hammers A guide to creating Heavy Armor
Last Scabbard of Akrash
Smithing Tabar Vunqidh Story of a slaver's daughter and her Khajiit lover
Light Armor Forging
Smithing Revus Sarvani A book detailing various aspects of forging the various types of light armor
The Armorer's Challenge
Smithing Mymophonus A competition between two skilled armorsmiths
2920, Last Seed, v8
Sneak Carlovac Townway Volume 8 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
Legend of Krately House
Sneak Baloth-Kul A play about the ghostly Krately family and how they died
Sacred Witness
Sneak Enric Milnes Account of Enric's meeting with the Night Mother and career as an assassin
The Red Kitchen Reader
Sneak Simocles Quo Autobiographical musings of how the Master of Cuisine came to adore viands
Three Thieves
Sneak Anonymous Some thieves in Morrowind plan a heist
2920, Second Seed, v5
Speech Carlovac Townway Volume 5 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
A Dance in Fire, v6
Speech Waughin Jarth Chapter 6 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
A Dance in Fire, v7
Speech Waughin Jarth Chapter 7 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
Biography of the Wolf Queen
Speech Katar Eriphanes A history of the unambiguously evil Queen Potema, the so-called Wolf Queen of Solitude
The Buying Game
Speech Adabael Timsar-Dadisun Tips on buying and selling
Battle of Sancre Tor
Two-handed The story of how General Talos defeated the stronghold of Sancre Tor
Two-handed Reven The final chapter in the adventures of Eslaf Erol
Song Of Hrormir
Two-handed The epic narrative of Hrormir, one-time champion of Nocturnal
The Legendary Sancre Tor
Two-handed Matera Chapel An attempt to chronicle the rise and fall of Sancre Tor
Words and Philosophy
Two-handed An interview with a Bosmer master swordsman about her life


The achievement related to skill books is:

  •   Reader (20 points/Bronze) — Read 50 Skill Books
    • To unlock this achievement, 50 different skill books must be read out of the 90 available.
    • Books count towards this achievement even if they are read after the related skill has reached 100. In this case, no message appears on screen informing you that you have read a new skill book, but the game's counter is still increased.
    • You can track your progress towards the achievement using the "Skill Books Read" statistic on the General page of your journal's General Stats.


  • On rare occasions, reading a skill book will report the skill being leveled, but not actually increase the skill's level. Being close to leveling the skill may increase the likelihood of this happening.
    • Save your game and check the skill's value before reading any books. If it doesn't increase after reading, reload the save and increase the level of the skill before reading the book.