Ah, the days of big books, deep discounts and book shopping on vacation

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Ah, the days of big books, deep discounts and book shopping on vacation

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Abr 23, 2016, 12:36am

It's just past midnight and as I checked my mail I glanced over at my nearest bookshelf and happened to spot my copy of Air Defense Systems and Weapons: World AAA and Sam Systems in the 1990s by Christopher Chant, published by Brassey's. Not admittedly a book to drag to bed, I probably haven't touched it in a few years, ever since I lost interesting in wargaming back in the early 2000s. It holds a special memory because it's one of a number of books I found while on vacation over the years.

My wife and I were up from Florida visiting in New Jersey to attend a wedding of one of her relatives. To make these trips more palatable we often take a day off to do a little sight-seeing, this time over on the south Jersey shore. It's off season and so not really a beach day, but it's a nice pleasant drive. My wife, the wonderful person that she is, makes sure to keep an eye out for bookstores and in some place between Ocean City and Cape May we spotted an Atlantic Books store. I wandered around and poked in the shelves, not really seeing anything too exciting, when I happened to spot the above mentioned book. How it even ended up in a touristy bookstore on the Jersey shore who knew, but it was on the discount shelf and so I scooped it up. I showed it to my wife who with her great tolerance for the excitement I get from these finds smiled and said she was glad I found something.

I've come across a number of these finds over the years, but between the decline of the big military books, the closing of the brick and mortar bookstores and the appearance of the Web which makes even the little stores aware of how much someone might pay for that big book they are stuck with (on Amazon that copy of Air Defense would cost $125 USD today) I hardly ever see such a bargain.

So, anyone else not quite ready for sleep and have a book with a good story behind it?

Maio 4, 2016, 7:51am

I will admit that however ghastly the Great Recession of 2008-2010 might have been for many people, as a single man with secure income it was a great time to be trawling through the bids on eBay, and I picked up much of my personal collection in those years.