The majority of books just fill in back story or provide lore material. However, there are a number of different kinds of books, such as skill books, which give a boost to a skill or set of skills; quest books, which are needed (sometimes optionally) to start or progress a quest; style books, which are needed for unlocking crafting styles; and lore books, which are part of Shalidor's Library (see below) and will increase your rank in the Mages Guild. Some books may also reveal locations on your map, or even teach you Alchemy traits.
See also: Books by Zone
Books are divided into collections, which vary greatly in size, and these collections are grouped into three larger libraries:
- Crafting Motifs: This collection includes all the crafting motifs, which were previously a part of Eidetic Memory.
- Eidetic Memory: This library lists most of the remaining books, letters and notes not included in Shalidor's Library. The Eidetic Memory is not visible until the Mages Guild questline is complete, but any books read before then will be marked as seen.
- Shalidor's Library: This is a set of collectible books that appear as glowing purple tomes. Reading them contributes towards the Mages Guild rank, even if you have not joined and unlocked the skill line.
- Finally, there are some books which are not part of any collections or libraries. These can be found here.
- * The Grim Harlequin and Stalhrim Frostcaster styles are currently not visible in the library, possibly due to the motifs themselves having a time-restrained availability.