Book of Hours: How to Be An Efficient Librarian

How to best approach the game and its systems.



The first advice that is best given is that you should close this guide and go experience the game at your pace, returning only once you have gone through it at least as far as unlocking the reading room, Experiencing Numa and making your first keeper-level recipe. Book of Hours is intentionally arcane to make your discovery of this world an immersive experience.

But, assuming one wishes to polish their approach, find fewer surprises or they have done the steps above already… time to see how you can be an Efficient Librarian. In this guide you will not find exact recipes, nor lists of every item you can craft, use or employ. You will find directions on how you might find those yourself and how to better make use of that discovery.

The Discovery Process

What every Librarian should do is TAKE NOTES. You should have beside you a nice sheet in google docs, a word document or even a hand-written stack of papers if you wish to make your experience more immersive. There is a lot of information you find out only through trial and error, so it is best to note that down to reference later.

Memory aspects and sources should be your first notes. You might have noticed that you get memories when you do particular things that are repeatable. Reading books, bothering pets and inspecting items around the house are such actions… so note down what you get and where… but often you only need ONE source per each memory, as you can’t hold onto more than one of a kind at any time… no need to catalogue EVERY book that gives you contradiction, just the one that is the most handy, preferably one that does not require a language the librarian does not speak by default. And yes, you can re-read books. Eventually you might have this little area stocked only with books you constantly reference to get their memories to not have to look through the shelves… and not have the snap-back ruin your aesthetic ordering of them.

Crafting recipes… as this is a crafting game… should very much be noted down. Where you make them is not important, but what skill, aspect and potentially particular ingredients matter for it. Lantern 5 of one skill could make one thing, same aspect with another skill makes another. Crafting recipes follow a pattern as following: Prentice level ones take just five of that aspect, Scholar takes 10 of the aspect and you must include an ingredient of a particular aspect such as flower or liquid and Keeper level recipes take 15 of the aspect and a PARTICULAR ingredient, often one made with a scholar-level recipe… and pay attention when making those 10-aspect recipes… you might see a comment on what you can make next.

Skills, while not necessarily needing noting down as you can always reference them… one SHOULD note down the skills they have, mostly to notice what aspects you have skills in, which help against contamination or might serve some other purpose… like the ability evolving. Though this is optional and one could just order them in your tray in some method to indicate that note-taking and abstain from pressing the auto-sort button.

Finally, one might want to take notes on the various barons and librarians of the house. You might find the association between name and role in almost any place… descriptions of books, drinks, rooms, furniture… or one way that is often the surefire way of figuring out where those busts go. Something good has to happen if you put them all in the right place. But do pay close attention to the slot for the twelfth librarian.

Crafting, Gathering and their Purpose

Many things in this game is renewable… but not everything. Don’t start breaking down priceless decorations for wood or fabric unless you really don’t like them. So, don’t be afraid to use things you find around the house. There are things you can craft, things you can gather… and those you can’t. But let’s focus on the former two.

Gathering can be done on the beach, the moors and the gardens of the house. The results differ based on season… most of the time. Outside of the gardens which have very specific results, one can see it as a “free” crafting that just takes time, effort and a proper skill. But, due to the more seasonal and random aspect of gathering… one might find it more prudent to keep a bigger stock of what you find… assuming you can use them.

Crafting will be what you will almost constantly do for one reason or another, but one must remember the PURPOSE. You want things, but what will you do with those things? Inks and tools are useful to crack more difficult books… food and beverages can boost your assistants, though a lot of other things are there just to be materials to other things or to be employed in a few circumstances. Yes, congratulations for making 6 January Sanguinary, but right now it’s nothing more than crafting material to make something more useful.

So, for this reason, don’t craft aimlessly. Making use of a memory that you might lose to set down a more permanent material is good, but you’re gonna run out of shelf space. Often you want 2-3 of something set aside, either because you have a recipe in mind to use them on and it speeds up the process… or to use for other reasons, but going past 4 is just taking up space. Sometimes you have to let go of things, so don’t be afraid to throw things in the fire, the well or the sea. No need to keep all those slabs of Granite “just in case”.

Maintaining an Orderly House

Eventually, you will start amassing a lot of books and other things, and a new concern comes… you should keep the place orderly. This is only a friendly suggestion as one can arrange things in their house to their heart’s content, employing whichever method that resonates with their own. But we can both agree it’s a better idea to know where to find something rather than checking every room for it.

Once one has enough space to do so, you should order things specifically in a way that eases gameplay. Beverages should go in one or two rooms, ordered by the kind they are so one does not have to check them all. You see your line of isle-water and need to check just one, not all of them. Doing this, you will always know where to go if you need a particular kind of ingredient if you also stocked it.

Books should go in the following categories: Books you constantly reference, books you’ve read, books you haven’t read and books you CAN’T read (because you don’t know the language), optionally ordering the books you haven’t read by challenge level. As stated previously, a small group of books should be set aside for constant reference to get their memories, but those you have read and don’t do this to… keep in another place and order them as you wish… by aspect or color. Doing this will let you easily know where to look for books to take on and learn new skills, where to go and once again farm memories for level-ups and where to just bask in the aesthetic beauty of the ones you already consumed.

Keep this up and you’re going to be more efficient.

Skills and Advancement

Why do we read books? To get skills (and memories). Obviously, the biggest booster to your aspects when crafting and cracking books, one can find several temptations on how to approach skills, but we will try to lay out the most effective one. Let us try to avoid both the trap of growing too tall or growing too wide, and such, let us lay out those traps and avoid them by knowing where they are.

Growing too tall is when one tries to get skills as high as they can, sometimes to the detriment of other skills. Since more of an aspect means you can craft stronger stuff and read more complicated books, that’s a GOOD thing, right? Well, at some point, no. Skills are not just aspects, allowing different crafting recipes to a certain point. Yes, there are many that are shared… you can craft eigengrau with more skills than imagined, but some…. some items are made exclusively by a small subset of skills, so maybe you skipped over that to make your other strong skill. The trap is that you can end up with few strong skills that do enable easy book reading and crafting… but might have a hard time crafting some other items… or going up in the tree of wisdom.

Growing too wide is when one does the opposite… instead of giving a few skills all their strength, they spread it around everywhere. True, it might offer them a variety of skills to use in crafting, but the downside is that cracking high-challenge books is more difficult… and making keeper-level items. Many skills offer incredibly similar options, so having three that essentially do the same things is redundant and effectively a waste of some lessons.

But, once we consider these, one might wonder exactly how you avoid doing two things that might seem binary choices. There is a third choice… moderation, observation and purpose. First, one finds out what skills effectively do the same things for all recipes… this can require you sink a couple of lessons in them, pushing those that provide options to a moderate level above those others. Be purpose-driven in your advancement… you are upgrading this skill because it lets you craft something the other can’t, making you have a go-to list of what skills make you what and THOSE you grow.

So, going past the obvious means of effectively leveling up by using only one lesson per advancement, how and where to use it is an important bit of knowledge. Yes, pump up some strong skills to crack books, but don’t discard all of the others… you might be missing out on some crafting.

Wisdoms and Ability Evolving

Slotting skills in the tree of wisdom is how one gets more soul aspects to get more actions per day, occasionally allowing them to upgrade those soul aspects. But have you considered that you are doing it wrong? Or at least… in a non-efficient manner. Let’s find out.

Your first priority when slotting skills should be getting aspects you do not have, in which case one can be a bit sloppy. Don’t worry, there are a lot of skills around. But note that there are NOT ENOUGH to fill the entire tree. See those little lines that let you skip from one path to another, often further ahead? A good idea to use them. But no shame to get something at first level and get those abilities. You want DIVERSITY in your soul aspects rather than strength. But, as with skills… you need a bit of strength.

First, do not rush in committing skills unless you might be in need of aspects. Once you have one of each and two of your health, you should start considering the approach much more carefully… try to use the options to skip ahead and weigh in what aspects you might get out of them. Sometimes you can just defer your choice for later, possibly use another skill in that slot. It could mean a lot.

Second, where you slot your skills and what aspect they give can be used for evolution… but not all skills can evolve all aspects, neither do they have to, but it is best to try and plan a few evolutions. Your best approach if you do not know what stations can do what is to at least… try and make the skill share an aspect with the ability. How often can one be frustrated that the station to evolve abilities either does not allow the skill or the aspect… or both. There are more stations around, but some skills just cannot evolve abilities because of such a mismatch.

Once you have found the stations that let you evolve such skills, it is best to plan commits around using them… and so, do not rush. Further… you do not NEED to upgrade every ability… yes, you can gain a lot from a slightly boosted skill, but you could also use their increased number. At best, you might want TWO abilities of “level three” and let the rest be basic. You will find more use out of more actions than more powerful ones, but it is good to have a powerful one… so equally, do not rush to upgrade skills until you have more.

And finally… if you want to reach the top of those branches… make use of the skip lines. This might change your choices a bit, but there is absolutely no rush.

The Forbidden Season


A big deal and equally a perilous one. But a very rewarding time. One should both eagerly expect and dread the weird season. This is a time when a lot can happen… and one should not waste the time.

Knowing is half the battle, so to be efficient, one should know WHEN Numa comes… and while it is always uncertain, it has a pattern. Take a time segment of two years, your starting spring, then summer, autumn, winter, then one more of each… somewhere in there, the game will add an instance of Numa. More likely as more time comes in the segment, so much that if you have correctly determined the segment you are in, there have been two of all the normal seasons so far… expect Numa to come with surety. Equally, if it has come earlier, expect that until that segment is up you will not experience it at all. Best to use a few tokens that you move around, eight for the normal seasons, one for numa… to know what is still to come, and what has already gone, resetting it once the two years are past.

Obviously, one should take maximum advantage of the things they can do in Numa… gathering much stranger things than before, gaining some occult currency through normal and destructive work… but much more importantly… re-speccing skills. When you consider a non-committed skill during numa without adding anything more, either it is downgraded to level 1 or destroyed if it is at level 1… but you get back lessons you can use to upgrade ANY skill. However, these lessons disappear with the one-day season, as do all your other lessons… so plan it for maximum effectiveness. You need time to break down that skill… and then you could do at best… 10 ability improvements.

But of a much more important relevance is how many lessons you get from such destruction. You will get as many as you used to upgrade the skill so far minus one… but not JUST lessons. Consider the quadratic growth of the resources you have invested in a skill. IF you have been effective, it will be one lesson per level-up, but think of all those memories… now they come back as lessons. A level 2 skill will give one (2-1) when downgraded, a level 3 will give four, level 4 gives 8, then 13, 19, 26… make good use of those lessons during Numa, but with a supplement of crafted memories… one CAN improve skills beyond the static number of lessons might potentially allow. And remember… no more than ten improvements. You don’t have the time for more.

Knowing this, one can move from dreading this season to anticipating it with bated breath. And it could be considered that this allows those lessons to be renewable. You could destroy language skills and re-learn them from visitors and now one might not regret using lessons ineffectively during a time of duress.

Endings and Conclusions

Even for endings one should practice care and not jump into whichever is available. Reaching the ends of the tree shows potency, writing your determination… especially your particular one… should be an action not at all rushed. Find your particular secret and employ it well… and if you have been paying attention so far, you will have the means you need.

End in a way that shows the efficiency of your path.

But, in the end… what was the point of being so careful with our choices and commitments? To be one that can make anything with ease, one that has touched the very top of all the branches simultaneously and shown their proper determination? That will be your pride and your accomplishment, one better than just “settling” for a lesser achievement. One that is so grand that the only prize is your own knowledge of it.

Take from this an inner growth to show how our choices should be done with care.

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