Books, or sometimes refered to as skillbooks, are an additional way of boosting your characters skills without spending those precious skillpoints gained by leveling up.
Reading (using) a book will raise the according skill by equivalent of 8 skill points. You won't be able to read as many books as you want though. The amount of books you can use is limited by your characters intelligence (IN). For each point you can read ONE book of EACH type. Mentats can be used to gain 2 IN to read 2 more books.
For example: A character with IN=6 can read up to 6 books of each category, earning a total of 48 points in the associated skill.
If your character allready reached maximum level of readable books in for example Small Guns, each other book in that genre, that you will attempt to read will not be consumed, instead you will get message: "You learn nothing new." So if you unsure whether you can still read some more books just try them. You won't loss that book if you have allready capped out.
As raising a skill above 100% will cost more than 1 Skillpoint/% it is highly recommended to use books when your skill is 0-125% (Till 100% Books will be adding full 8%, from 101-125 it will be 4%) or in 150-175% (Books will be adding 2%).
You can obtain books by either buying them in hub library (located downtown) or in the L.A Boneyard (around 1000 caps per books in both places), by finding them in caves or locations like necropolis, by finding NPC that offers book during minisale (Living world project feature, you can exchange for something else than caps so this is the cheapest and safest option...and also the slowest one) or simply by buying them from other players.
If everything else fail you can go for dangerous trip to the San Franciso, to the Tanker. There is a book shop that sells limitless amount of book, but they are much more expesinve than in other places and whole San Francisco is dangerous unprotected city.
Remember that there is one quest in Junktown which will reward you with a Repair skillbook. See the quest section for quest named Margaret's Fridge for details.
Types of Books
Big Book of Science
|A set of books containing information about different scientific fields.|
|A study book on the field of electronics. A note on the cover says that it is for the "budding young electrician in everyone!|
First Aid Book
|A study book on the concepts and practical use of first aid skills.|
Guns and Bullets
|A gun rag. A magazine devoted to the practical use of firearms, and the occasional biased review.|
|A book on the methods and ideals of Scouting. Very practical information regarding outdoor life.|