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The Sims Wiki's Featured Article for June 2013.
See also: Bookstore and Writing

Books are items in The Sims series that serve a variety of purposes throughout the different games. They are stored in bookshelves, but Sims can put them down on most surfaces.

The Sims Edit

Books are all identical. Sims can use them to study the mechanical or cooking skills, or to increase the fun motive. Children can study to improve their grades.

Sims will go to a bookcase to get books, but do not put them away. When a Sim is finished with a book, he or she will stand up and the book will simply disappear.

The Sims: Makin' MagicEdit

A Sim's Guide to Cooking
Ts1 a sim's guide to cooking
Why waste precious time and energy trying to follow that cryptic recipe scrawled by your great-great grandmother? The Busy Baker's Association has spent years collecting the best and most popular recipes to make your life that much easier. Printed in large, clear text on plastic coated pages, there's absolutely no better resource for your cooking needs.
Game The Sims: Makin' Magic
Buyable Buy mode
Price §89
Size 1x1 table

The Sims: Makin' Magic introduced a special cookbook that could be purchased in Buy mode. It came on a bookholder, but the book itself could not be removed from the holder. Sims can use the cookbook to look up and cook recipes for special foods, such as pie or cake. This is essential, as using the wrong recipes or the wrong combination of ingredients will always result in a burned, inedible mess.

The Sims 2 Edit

In The Sims 2, there are three books, a romance book, a study book, and a kids book. Sims can use them to study mechanical, cooking, or cleaning, to write in a diary, or to Read a Book, which increases the fun motive. Teens, adults and elders can read to toddlers and children. Young adults on college lots can research from books, which will raise their class performance. Sims who relax on a bed can read in bed, even if a bookcase is not in the same room; if FreeTime is installed, this will build Film and Literature enthusiasm. In The Sims 2: Apartment Life, child or teen Sims can be read to sleep by older Sims, within 1 hour after they get to bed.

When a Sim reads in bed, the book will disappear when they are finished, which is usually when the player cancels the action. Otherwise, books need to be put back in a bookcase, though it doesn't need to be the one they were taken from. Sloppy Sims will usually put books on nearby desks or tables, even if the bookcase is closer, and will put them on the floor if no desk or table is available. Books that have not been put away are clickable; a Sim can be directed to use the book, or to put it away. The player may also click on a bookshelf and select "Put Away All Books", which will direct the selected Sim to put away all books that are not being used. Maids will usually put books away, though a maid will occasionally leave a book lying on a table or floor.

Magazines can be bought and read to alter Sims' interests.

The Seasons expansion pack added Books First for Learning: A Bookshelf of Education as the career reward for the Education career. This bookshelf replaces the study book with "the Golden Book of Cornelius von Schtoop", which allows Sims to study any skill. Players should note that maids will not put away books from this bookshelf if Seasons is the latest expansion pack.[confirmation needed]

In FreeTime, six types of book are added for variety, and "Read..." replaces "Read a Book" in the pie menu. The types of book are Children, Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Drama, and Cooking. This feature is carried forward into Apartment Life. Reading Cooking will increase Cuisine enthusiasm[1] while other books will increase Film and Literature enthusiasm. Each book has a unique cover. Reading a Sci-Fi book depletes a Sim's hygiene quickly, a Cuisine book depletes a Sim's hunger quickly, while a Romance book increases a Sim's social need.

Novels are also available in The Sims 2. Sims can purchase 3 existing novels from bookcases on owned business lots in Open for Business. A novel purchased in this way will be in the Sim's inventory. When placing the novels, they will improperly lean on the table or floor, and after a Sim reads them, they will disappear. Sims can put them away in the bookcase, but they will just disappear in the bookcase as well. In FreeTime and Apartment Life, written novels can be customized, and are brought home by the delivery person,[2] and can be read to fulfill the Read a Novel want. Only one copy of a written novel exists, so other families won't find it in their bookcase. The novel is only available if put in a bookcase. If the novel is deleted or given to another family, it will no longer be available in the bookcase, and cannot be retrieved.

The Sims 3 Edit

Book Warlock etc

Three different books in The Sims 3.

See also: List of books in The Sims 3

In The Sims 3, the book system was massively overhauled.

There are a variety of books in The Sims 3, including different genres and books with dramatically different properties such as skill books and compositions. There is a wide variety of possible book covers, and several different sizes. Generally, books have the following properties:

  • Distinct genre/type cover
  • Small/Medium/Large
  • Number of pages
  • Price

Sims can buy many premade books from the bookstore, a rabbit hole found in premade neighborhoods such as Riverview. General books can also be read, but not borrowed or bought, in the library.

There are a wide range of premade books that cannot be bought, but are instead gained through opportunities in work or adventures.

In The Sims 3: Into the Future, the books in Oasis Landing are E-Books.

Writing booksEdit

Main article: Writing

Sims learning the writing skill can produce books, some of which are only accessible under certain conditions. Books produced by writer Sims will also be classified as either flops, normal, hit, or best seller. Sims rummaging through garbage will often find copies of flops. Books that Sims have written are available in the library, but can only be bought privately in multiple copies through a menu on a Sim's Writing skill journal.

Conditions for getting certain booksEdit

Genre Requirement Average Length Expected Royalties Royalty[3][4] Royalty / page Approx. Income range Bonus Trait
Fiction Writing Skill Level 0 90 § §137 §1.53 §20-130
Non-Fiction Writing Skill Level 0 90 § §137 §1.53 §20-130
Science Fiction Writing Skill Level 1 or Level 0 with ComputerWhiz trait 150 § §325 §2.17 up to §300+- Computer Whiz, Genius
Trashy Writing Skill Level 2 or Level 0 with Inappropriate trait 190 § §395 §2.08
Drama Writing Skill Level 3 305 §§ §858 §2.81 up to §600+- Commitment Issues
Humor Writing Skill Level 5 or Level 3 with Good Sense of Humor trait 345 §§ §1,388 §4.02 up to §550+- Good Sense of Humour, Inappropriate, Mean Spirited
Mystery Writing Skill Level 8 510 §§§ §1,633 §3.26 up to §1300+- Genius
Romance Writing Skill Level 10 or Level 5 with Hopeless Romantic trait 675 §§§§ §3,725 §5.52 up to §3100+- Hopeless Romantic
Children's Writing Skill Level 3 AND Painting skill Level 4 105 § §450 §4.29 up to §460 approx Artistic, Childish, Family Oriented
Historical Writing Skill Level 6 AND Requires the Elder Age 505 §§§ §1,625 §3.25 §1,286 approx. Perfectionist
Auto-Biography 3 Biography (From Skill Opportunity) 163 §§§ §813 §2.03 Charismatic, Unlucky, Daredevil, Insane, Kleptomaniac
Fantasy 3 Sci-Fi Books 440 §§§ §1,650 §3.75 up to §1350+-
Satire 3 Humor 350 §§§ §1,900 §5.43 Grumpy, Hot-Headed, Over-Emotional
Vaudeville 2 Sci-Fi, 2 Drama, 2 Humor, 2 Mystery, 2 Romance 1250 §§§§ §8,050 §6.44 up to §6,000+ Bookworm
Masterpiece 25 Novels 2000 §§§§§ §14,625 §7.31 §10,000 to §15,000+
Life Story From Top Level Career Opportunity 400 §§§ §2,000 §5.00
Political Memoir(Political Life Story) From Political Career Opportunity 400 §§§ §2,000 §5.00
Article (Story/Review) Journalist Level 3 79 none §218 §2.75
Report Law Enforcement Level 4 ?? none
Books with Asian-style covers[TS3:WA]
Either travel to Shang Simla Market and buy one, or have a Sim with the Asian Culture hidden trait write books until they get one.
Books with French-style covers[TS3:WA]
Either travel to Circle of Knowledge Bookstore and buy one, or have a Sim with the French Culture hidden trait write books until they get one.
Books with Egyptian-style covers[TS3:WA]
Either travel to Al Simhara Market and buy one, or have a Sim with the Egyptian Culture hidden trait write books until they get one.

There several kinds of special books, all of which have properties beyond those of general books.

Skill booksEdit

Skill books basic

Three skill books in The Sims 3

Skill books have three levels, and can be too easy - or too advanced - for Sims to read depending on their skill level. Sims can find basic skill books at the library, but more advanced books need to be bought at the bookstore or at a market. Level one skill books will raise a Sim's skill up to a maximum of level three.

Childhood development booksEdit

Childhood development books are mini-skill books for toddler Sims. They are also a way for players to improve the chances they will get to choose a trait for the Sim when it ages up into a child.

Skills learned from these books will not appear in the skill panel until the Sim ages up, and Sims can only learn three points in any particular skill from these books.

Books written in the Children's genre do not have the same effects as these books.

Pregnancy booksEdit

Pregnancy books look like general books and can be used as such by non-pregnant Sims. However, if a Sim is pregnant then reading from these books improves the outcome of the pregnancy.

Better pregnancies make it more likely that a player can choose the new baby's traits at birth (bad pregnancies result in random traits).


A composition is a book of sheet music that lets Sims learn new songs for the Guitar, Drums, Piano, Bass and Laser Rhythm-a-con skills. Once a Sim finishes reading one of these books, it will disappear completely and need to be bought all over again for other Sims.

Recipe booksEdit

A recipe is a book that lets Sims learn new dishes for the cooking skill. Once a Sim finishes reading one of these books, it will disappear completely and need to be bought all over again for other Sims.

The Sims 4Edit

See also: List of books in The Sims 4

The Sims 4 features many books encompassing multiple different genres, skills, and moods. Each bookcase comes with a selection of general books that can be read for fun. Additional books, including skill and emotion books can be purchased by Sims in live mode directly from an owned bookcase, or can be ordered online with a computer.

Emotional books will put Sims that read them into a specific emotional state. Skill books, like in The Sims 3, can be too easy - or too advanced - for Sims to read depending on their skill level. If a Sim with a high skill level reads a low skill book, they become bored. And if a Sim reads a too high level skill book, they will become tense.

Sims with the writing skill can write their own books on a computer, which can have a custom title and description. Each genre of book that can be written has a variety of template titles that will initially appear in the text field when creating a new book. The default description for each of these template books simply says what genre of book it is. Dollhouse-genre books can only be created by children. Comedy books can only be written by Sims with high comedy skill. Travel Guides can only be written by Sims with high Selvadoradian Culture skill. The author Sim will then receive royalties every week for their published works. They can be published through a mailbox and have different qualities affected by the Sims writing skill that affect the amount of the received royalties.

Sims with the Professiorial reward trait from completing the Renaissance Sim aspiration are able to write custom skill manuals of any skill they are proficient in. Manuals for baking, herbalism, parenting, wellness, and vampire lore cannot be created however, despite being skills that can be learned from books.


  1. The FreeTime patch fixed the game so this occurs properly
  2. Sims could always "Write a Novel" on a home computer, but written novels did not exist as game objects prior to FreeTime.
  3. The amount listed is per payment per book
  4. Average weekly royalty of Bestseller book for quite experienced top-level writer in best mood and ideal trait/genre combination. May be +25-50% higher than actual non-optimal writer. Royalty depends on various factors. So these are just broad approximation. Mood of writer, genre, personal traits, reward, books written in the specific genre, and number of books author read, etc influence bestseller probability and royalty. The more books you write in the specific genre, more best-seller and higher royalty from the genre. Books written in different genre does not matter. So, specialization is important to get higher royalty.