I feel guilty, stained with dishonour. Why? Well, this evening I probably just deprived those in my area who enjoy military history of some fine reading. You see, I had a few minutes spare from getting off my bus before I had to pick up my youngest daughter from her dancing lesson. So I popped into the local library, and found there was a book sale on.
In principle, I disagree with library book sales. It is selling off community knowledge. Just because books are old, or not taken out much, it does not mean they are of no value to library readers. I recall the disappointment I felt a few years ago when I went into the Wellington Central Library and found they had sold off most of their bank of Ospreys.
However, back in my local library this evening, all those principles went out of the window when I saw looming over the pile of books the huge bulk of Nelson’s Navy by Brian Lavery. An absolute treasure trove of Napoleonic naval lore, and for only one dollar (and that is a New Zealand dollar, which is much less than an American one!) . Well, I quickly picked that up, I can tell you!
Then another spine caught my attention: With Wolfe to Quebec by Oliver Warner. A classic of French and Indian Wars (Seven Years War) history. I quickly snaffled that one to.
Then, lo and betide, I spotted Robin May and Gerry Embleton’s The Franco-Prussian War 1870 hidden amongst some tawdry novels. Not my period, but, hey, for a buck, who’s going to quibble! Very nice Osprey-style uniform paintings, along with masses of b&w illustrations. Who knows, maybe it will inspire me one day?!
So, for the princely sum of just three dollars, I walked out of the library, principles in tatters, but a smile on my face.
Oh, and I didn’t forget to pick up my daughter …