Oblivion:Skill Books

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The first time you read a given Skill Book, your level in the associated Skill will be permanently increased by one point. If a major skill is increased, it will count towards leveling up; the skill increase will also contribute to the skill bonuses you receive next time you level up. Unlike Trainers, there is no limit to how many Skill Books you can read at one level (other than how many you are able to find).

You can open a Skill Book, read it, and acquire the skill bonus without it being considered theft. Theft occurs only if while reading it you choose to "Take" the book. If you just close the book (putting it back where you found it) no crime is committed.

If you find a second copy of a Skill Book that you have already read, you will not receive any skill bonus for reading the second copy.

When you have reached Mastery in a skill (100 points), reading an unread skill book will not produce any effect: it will not increase your skill above 100 points; it will not increase the Skill Books Read counter in your character statistics either, and you will not even be alerted of the skill book discovery. This also holds true if the skill in question is fortified past 100; you will not gain the relevant skill increase or be notified of the fact that you have found a skill book. Unlike with trainers, using a Drain Skill spell to decrease a skill level under 100 will not allow you to use the skill book to increase your skill level over 100. However, you can decrease your Master skill back down to Expert by serving jail time, allowing you to read the book and get the skill point as normal.

A potential way to maximize skill books bonuses is to delay reading books located

  • in containers -- since you can transfer them in your inventory without reading them
  • outside containers, in a permanent, non-hostile, easily accessible location (such as a Mages Guild bookshelf or the Arcane University)

until you have reached Expert status (75 to 99 points) in the relevant skill, since one extra skill point is much harder to gain when you're an Expert than when you're still a Novice. However, this advice does not work for skill books found outside containers during quests, as it is not possible to take them without opening, thus reading them first.

There are 109 skill books in total: 5 for most skills; 6 for Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, Mysticism, and Heavy Armor; and 4 for Speechcraft. (The four "extra" Magic books are the four Mythic Dawn Commentaries the player is supposed to read as part of The Path of Dawn, leaving the standard 5-per-skill to be discovered outside of the quest).

Twenty of the skill books (one in each skill, except for Speechcraft) can be found in random loot. This means that there is a small chance that one of these twenty books will appear in boss-level chests in dungeons with certain types of enemies. See this page for more specifics. There are also two quests from which you will receive a random skill book as your reward:

  • Bear Season: one of six Combat skill books (all the Combat books found in normal random loot, except for Armorer).
  • Two Sides of the Coin: one random Combat or Magic skill book, including those not normally found in random loot; plus one of the following 6 books: Purloined Shadows (Sneak), Mystery of Talara v1 (Acrobatics), Rislav The Righteous (Light Armor), The Black Arrow v2 (Marksman), A Dance in Fire v7 (Mercantile), or Surfeit of Thieves (Security).

Outside of Two Sides of the Coin, the remaining 89 books exist only in specific locations.

If you have Shivering Isles installed, there is an additional quest from which you will receive a random skill book as your reward:

Remember that floors are given using the American style; thus "first floor" in the list means "ground floor" if you're British.

Book Name (ID) Skill Author Description Where this book can be found
OB-icon-book-Book2.png
The Black Arrow, v 1
Acrobatics Gorgic Guine Volume one of a story of revenge, and a true master archer
OB-icon-book-Book12.png
A Dance in Fire, v1
Acrobatics Waughin Jarth Chapter 1 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
OB-icon-book-Book12.png
A Dance in Fire, v4
Acrobatics Waughin Jarth Chapter 4 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
Mystery of Talara, v 1
Acrobatics Mera Llykith Part one of the story of Princess Talara
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Thief
Acrobatics Reven The second chapter of the adventures of Eslaf Erol
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
Calcinator Treatise
Alchemy Argonian secrets of proper Calcinator positioning
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
De Rerum Dirennis
Alchemy Vorian Direnni Tales about a creator of Alchemy Science
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
A Game at Dinner
Alchemy An Anonymous Spy A spy's observations upon poison making and a dinner party
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Mannimarco, King of Worms
Alchemy Horicles Biography of Mannimarco, the leader of Necromancers, in verse
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
Song of the Alchemists
Alchemy Marobar Sul Book 5 of an incomplete series of fictional stories about the Dwemer.
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Daughter of the Niben
Alteration Sathyr Longleat The history of Bravil town and its famous statue of the Lucky Old Lady
OB-icon-book-Book11.png
The Dragon Break
Alteration Fal Droon Explanation of a historical error of timing
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
The Lunar Lorkhan
Alteration Fal Droon A theory about the moons Masser and Secunda
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Reality & Other Falsehoods
Alteration Summary of the basic principles of Alteration magic
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Sithis
Alteration Text detailing an apparent connection between Sithis and Lorkhan
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
The Armorer's Challenge
Armorer Mymophonus A competition between two skilled armorsmiths
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Cherim's Heart of Anequina
Armorer Livillus Perus, Professor at the Imperial University Interview with Cherim, a master tapestry weaver
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Heavy Armor Repair
Armorer Information on the best ways to repair various types of heavy armor
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Last Scabbard of Akrash
Armorer Tabar Vunqidh Story of a slaver's daughter and her Khajiit lover
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Light Armor Repair
Armorer A guide to refurbishing light armor
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Argonian Account, Book 1
Athletics Waughin Jarth Decumus Scotti's continued adventures in Black Marsh, Volume 1
  • Found in random loot
  • Possible reward from the quest Bear Season
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Beggar
Athletics Reven The first chapter in the adventures of Eslaf Erol
OB-icon-book-Book12.png
A Dance in Fire, v3
Athletics Waughin Jarth Chapter 3 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
The Ransom of Zarek
Athletics Marobar Sul How a boy escapes his kidnappers
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Red Kitchen Reader
Athletics Simocles Quo Autobiographical musings of how the Master of Cuisine came to adore viands
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Morning Star (v1)
Blade Carlovac Townway Volume 1 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Battle of Sancre Tor
Blade The story of how General Talos defeated the stronghold of Sancre Tor
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Fire and Darkness
Blade Ynir Gorming The history of the Morag Tong assassin guild
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Song Of Hrormir
Blade The epic narrative of Hrormir, one-time champion of Nocturnal
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Words and Philosophy
Blade An interview with a Bosmer master swordsman about her life
OB-icon-book-Book12.png
A Dance in Fire, v2
Block Waughin Jarth Chapter 2 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
Death Blow of Abernanit
Block Anonymous (with notes by Geocrates Varnus) The death of Dagoth Thras
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
The Mirror
Block Berdier Wreans About a skilled fighter's showdown with his greatest enemy
  • Leyawiin City Watch Barracks, on a shelf in a downstairs storage room
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Warp in the West
Block Ulvius Tero Reports from Imperial Blades concerning the effects of the Dragon Break on the Iliac Bay region
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Warrior
Block Reven The third chapter of the adventures of Eslaf Erol
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
The Importance of Where
Blunt Marobar Sul Book 3 of an incomplete series of fictional stories about the Dwemer
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
King
Blunt Reven The final chapter in the adventures of Eslaf Erol
  • Anvil Castle Royal Quarters, on a shelf
  • Battlehorn Castle after buying the bedroom area upgrade (mod-specific)
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
The Legendary Sancre Tor
Blunt Matera Chapel An attempt to chronicle the rise and fall of Sancre Tor
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Mace Etiquette
Blunt A warrior's instruction pamphlet on proper mace tactics
  • Found in random loot
  • Possible reward from Bear Season
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
Night Falls on Sentinel
Blunt Boali How a knight weeds out an enemy of the king
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Frostfall (v10)
Conjuration Carlovac Townway Volume 10 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
  • Anvil Chapel Hall, on a desk
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Hearth Fire (v9)
Conjuration Carlovac Townway Volume 9 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
  • Bruma Chapel Hall, on a shelf
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Doors of Oblivion
Conjuration Seif-ij Hidja The chronicles of Morian Zenas' journey through the realms of Oblivion, penned by his apprentice
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Liminal Bridges
Conjuration Camilonwe of Alinor A Discourse On The Theory and Praxis of Traveling Between Mundus and Oblivion
  • Arcane University Mystic Archive, in a second-floor display case against the west wall (look for a brown book)
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
Mythic Dawn Commentaries 1
Conjuration Mankar Camoran The first book read by initiates to the Mythic Dawn cult
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
The Warrior's Charge
Conjuration An old poem of the Redguards that deals with the constellations
  • Only found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
The Art of War Magic
Destruction Zurin Arctus, with Commentary By Other Learned Masters Mastering the art of winning
OB-icon-book-Book5.png
The Horrors of Castle Xyr
Destruction Baloth-Kul A One Act Play
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
A Hypothetical Treachery
Destruction Anthil Morvir A One Act Play
  • Skingrad Castle Lords Manor, on a shelf in the northwest corner of Hassildor's room.
OB-icon-book-Book10.png
Mystery of Talara, v 3
Destruction Mera Llykith Part three of the story of Princess Talara
  • Only found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
Mythic Dawn Commentaries 2
Destruction Mankar Camoran The second book read by initiates to the Mythic Dawn cult
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
Response to Bero's Speech
Destruction Malviser, Battlemage Commentaries of "Bero's Speech to the Battlemages" book
  • Arcane University Mystic Archives, on a ground-floor bookshelf against the east wall (look for a small blue book on the middle shelf)
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Ahzirr Traajijazeri
Hand to Hand Anonymous The public manifesto of the Khajiit organization Renrijra Krin
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Immortal Blood
Hand to Hand Anonymous Dialogues about fighting with vampires
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
Master Zoaraym's Tale
Hand to Hand Gi'Nanth About the Temple of the Two Moons in Elsweyr and its students
  • Found in random loot
  • Possible reward from Bear Season
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Way of the Exposed Palm
Hand to Hand Explanation of the key towards mastery of open-handed combat
  • Black Balconies of Fieldhouse in Fieldhouse Cave, on the ground (hiding under a Cairn Bolete)
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Wolf Queen, v 2
Hand to Hand Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book Two
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, MidYear (v6)
Heavy Armor Carlovac Townway Volume 6 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
Chimarvamidium
Heavy Armor Marobar Sul Book 6 of a series of fictional stories about the Dwemer
OB-icon-book-Book5.png
Fighters Guild History, 1st Ed.
Heavy Armor Detailing the events leading up to the foundation of the Syffim, now known as the Fighters Guild
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
Hallgerd's Tale
Heavy Armor Tavi Dromio Squabbling over the greatest warrior ever leads to a tale of heavy-armor-master Hlaalu Pasoroth
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
History of the Fighters Guild
Heavy Armor Detailing the events leading up to the foundation of the Syffim, now known as the Fighters Guild

(Note that this the standard edition of this book; there is also a more expensive first edition, see above)

OB-icon-book-Book6.png
How Orsinium Passed to Orcs
Heavy Armor Menyna Gsost The story of how Gortwog won the land to the north of Wayrest
  • Bruma Castle Lords Manor, on a desk
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Argonian Account, Book 3
Illusion Waughin Jarth Decumus Scotti's continued adventures in Black Marsh, Volume 3
  • Arcane University Mystic Archives, upstairs, south wall, right bookshelf, above the Novice Alembic
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Incident in Necrom
Illusion Jonquilla Bothe A story about an illusionist
OB-icon-book-Book10.png
Mystery of Talara, v 4
Illusion Mera Llykith Part four of the story of Princess Talara
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
Mythic Dawn Commentaries 3
Illusion Mankar Camoran The third book read by initiates to the Mythic Dawn cult
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
Palla, volume 1
Illusion Vojne Mierstyyd A conjurer's tragic infatuation with a dead woman (volume 1 of 2)
  • Arkved's Tower, on a table next to Vaermina's Orb in the final room (available during Vaermina's Daedric quest)
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Wolf Queen, v 3
Illusion Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book Three
  • Bruma Mages Guild, on a desk in the southeast basement room (look for an orange book)
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
Ice and Chitin
Light Armor Pletius Spatec A tale of the manipulation of chitin armor
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Lord Jornibret's Last Dance
Light Armor Song involving men and women's parts
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
The Rear Guard
Light Armor Tenace Mourl How a lone man guards a besieged castle and how he obtains his food
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Refugees
Light Armor Geros Albreigh History of refugees fleeing the Camoran Usurper
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Rislav The Righteous
Light Armor Sinjin Heroic tales of Rislav Larich, ancient King of Skingrad
  • Deepscorn Hollow after buying the study area upgrade (mod-specific)
  • May also be found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Black Arrow, v 2
Marksman Gorgic Guine Volume two of a story of revenge, and a true master archer
OB-icon-book-Book12.png
A Dance in Fire, v5
Marksman Waughin Jarth Chapter 5 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Father Of The Niben
Marksman Florin Jaliil Translation of the fragmented journal of Topal the Pilot
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
The Gold Ribbon of Merit
Marksman Ampyrian Brum A man tutors his old friend in marksmanship
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
Vernaccus and Bourlor
Marksman Tavi Dromio How a short-tempered Daedra tries to make something of himself
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Sun's Height (v7)
Mercantile Carlovac Townway Volume 7 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
The Buying Game
Mercantile Adabael Timsar-Dadisun Tips on buying and selling
OB-icon-book-Book12.png
A Dance in Fire, v6
Mercantile Waughin Jarth Chapter 6 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
OB-icon-book-Book12.png
A Dance in Fire, v 7
Mercantile Waughin Jarth Chapter 7 of a clerk's adventures in Valenwood
  • Only found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Wolf Queen, v 4
Mercantile Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book Four
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Sun's Dawn (v2)
Mysticism Carlovac Townway Volume 2 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
  • Skingrad Chapel Hall, on a desk in a side room (look for a purple book)
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Before the Ages of Man
Mysticism Aicantar of Shimerene Chronicles the major events of the Dawn and Merethic Eras
  • Arcane University's Chironasium, on a first floor Altar of Enchanting, against the southwest wall
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Black Arts On Trial
Mysticism Hannibal Traven, Archmagister of the Mages Guild A summary of the salient points of the debate which led to the resolution of the Mages Guild on the subject of Necromancy
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
The Firsthold Revolt
Mysticism Maveus Cie The story of how Hlaalu Helseth's sister kept the Summerset Isle city of Firsthold
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
Mythic Dawn Commentaries 4
Mysticism Mankar Camoran The fourth and final book read by initiates to the Mythic Dawn cult
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Souls, Black and White
Mysticism A scholar's look at the souls of man and beast
  • Fort Cuptor Battlemains, on the stone slab next to a bed, slightly under a coffin leaning against the slab
  • May also be found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Rain's Hand (v4)
Restoration Carlovac Townway Volume 4 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
  • Bravil Chapel Hall, on a shelf
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Exodus
Restoration Waughin Jarth The tale of a parent's desperate bid to save their only child
  • Skingrad Chapel Hall, on a bookshelf in the southwest room (look for a brown book)
OB-icon-book-Book10.png
Mystery of Talara, v 2
Restoration Mera Llykith Part two of the story of Princess Talara
  • Only found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book8.png
Notes on Racial Phylogeny
Restoration the Council of Healers, Imperial University About the similarities and differences between the races of Tamriel
OB-icon-book-Book4.png
Withershins
Restoration Yaqut Tawashi A humorous tale of a man's ailment and cure
  • Leyawiin Mages Guild , on a second-floor bookshelf (North-West room), top shelf (South-East corner, look for a green book)
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Advances in Lock Picking
Security A Skill Book in Security, providing tips on how to pick locks
OB-icon-book-Book7.png
The Locked Room
Security Porbert Lyttumly How a pupil outlocks her cruel picklock instructor
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Proper Lock Design
Security Written as a manual for lock designers, unintentionally helpful to thieves
OB-icon-book-Book6.png
Surfeit of Thieves
Security Aniis Noru How a busted robbery gets even worse
  • Only found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Wolf Queen, v 1
Security Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book One
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Last Seed (v8)
Sneak Carlovac Townway Volume 8 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Legend of Krately House
Sneak Baloth-Kul A play about the ghostly Krately family and how they died
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Purloined Shadows
Sneak Waughin Jarth A chill tale recounting the theft of Nocturnal's cowl
  • Only found in random loot
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Sacred Witness
Sneak Enric Milnes
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Wolf Queen, v 6
Sneak Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book Six
OB-icon-book-Book1.png
2920, Second Seed (v5)
Speechcraft Carlovac Townway Volume 5 of a historical series about Vivec and the Empire
  • Imperial Palace, on a bookshelf in the Imperial Battlemage's Chambers, top shelf (only available during The Ultimate Heist)
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
Biography of the Wolf Queen
Speechcraft Katar Eriphanes A history of the unambiguously evil Queen Potema, the so-called Wolf Queen of Solitude
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Wolf Queen, v 5
Speechcraft Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book Five
OB-icon-book-Book9.png
The Wolf Queen, v 7
Speechcraft Waughin Jarth Life of Queen Potema, Book Seven

1 You need to complete the Mages Guild Recommendation Quests to reach this location.
2 If someone sees you here you are Trespassing.
3 Taking this book is theft.