I am carrying too many books and am not experienced enough to reliably store them (and have not yet turned in the Dragon Stone so I don't get constantly assaulted by dragons, from what I've been told).

I want to get rid of these books, but no one will buy them yet. I need to know which books I should hold onto in case they are quest items that someone in my travels might need later. I have yet to find a proper list online that tells me which ones I need to hold on to, or even which ones I should just read for tips and info.

I don't need to know which books to read for skills or creating new quests or updating my map, just those that are valuable beyond the one-time read.

Which books are valuable for me to retain? It would be valuable to know if a particular book is needed later in the game to give to someone and complete a quest.

  • 1
    I don't think you can drop quest items at all, even if you don't currently have that quest active. Jan 26, 2017 at 4:45
  • List of the quest related books: uesp.net/wiki/Category:Skyrim-Quest_Books
    – Paul
    Jan 26, 2017 at 10:33
  • @Paul - That's exactly the opposite of what I asked for. That lists books which trigger queats. I asked for books which are used as goals of quests. For example, there are two books needed for the Rare Gifts quest including "Night Falls on Sentinel" and a journal.
    – JoshDM
    Jan 26, 2017 at 12:43
  • @JoshDM the list contains the books that trigger quest, and the books that are a goal of fetch quests, and also some other quest related books, but you shouldn't worry about these things most of the time you get a nice quest marker at the exact position of the required book
    – Paul
    Jan 26, 2017 at 13:44
  • That comment should be part of an answer, @Paul.
    – JoshDM
    Jan 26, 2017 at 13:46

4 Answers 4


You will not be able to drop unique books that are required for specific quests, so don't worry about that.

There are some books that are not unique, such as the Last Scabbard of Akrash, which you can drop or sell if the quest that requires them is not active. Though, even if you do, once the quest becomes active you'll get a quest marker to another copy of it somewhere in the world.

Additionally, there are quests that will be bugged if you already have the book before you're given the quest, such as Fetch Me That Book!

Therefore, it's probably best if you don't try to hold on to books. If you can't sell it, don't, if you can, go for it.


Captain Aldis at Castle Dour in Solitude may ask for a copy of The Mirror. If you need a place to store stuff, there are several with safe storage you can use without having to buy or build a house.

If you join the College of Winterhold, you get a cubicle in the Hall of Attainment with several safe containers (barrels there aren't safe, though). If you start the quest House of Horrors in Markarth (talk to Vigilant Tyranus outside the Abandoned House) you get can get access to a property with more storage than any house you can buy in vanilla Skyrim with apprentice robes and hood to boot (not sure about the houses you can build in the Hearthfire DLC, though. They might have more storage options depending on the wings you build and how you furnish them). You can get a free bed and chest in the Ragged Flagon Cistern by joining the Thieves Guild, though I don't feel comfortable leaving anything there with a value to weight ratio of 10 or more (many Hearthfire building materials are okay though).


You cannot lose quest items in Skyrim. You also cannot preemptively acquire said item and break the quest.

If a quest requires certain items, it will simply spawn said item at quest start. If you happen to have a different source of it stashed already (say a common Mammoth Tusk), you will simply just retrieve it from your storage instead of following the quest markers.

Assuming you picked up a quest related book, the game will still spawn a new copy of the quest item when the quest start. You can do anything with your existing copies without any consequence.


None of them (Once read)

Or all of them, if you want to decorate purchasable houses.

Books with a value of 50 or 60 septims are skill training books. You gain the skill level opening the book to read, generally as the first step of picking them up from the world. Once you have read them, they have no further bonus, and can be disposed of.

Other books and writings may start quests. As @VanBuzzKill notes, quest items can't be dropped, so you don't have to worry about selling all the read books.

You can check if you have read a book in the inventory, it will display an eye icon after the name of the book.

  • 1
    I think if the quest is not activated then you can drop / sell / move quest related books such as Last Scabbard of Akrash.
    – Paul
    Jan 26, 2017 at 10:37
  • Isn't there a book at the bandit camp near the stones by Riverwood that you need for a quest? Where Treasure Map 1 is found? For the quest called "Rare Gifts"? "Night Falls on Sentinel" is found there.
    – JoshDM
    Jan 26, 2017 at 12:42
  • yep: 310 ft S of The Guardian Stones (Falkreath Hold), in a tent in a bandit camp , but according to uesp the book spawns near swindler's den if you start the quest, so feel free to sell it
    – Paul
    Jan 26, 2017 at 13:47

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