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The Sinews of Habsburg Power: Lower Austria in a Fiscal-Military State 1650-1820
William D. Godsey Jr.
Progress: 69/448 pages
Pandora’s Box A History of the First World War
Jörn Leonhard, Patrick Camiller
Progress: 346/1104 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages

Book rant time

I need to vent to a sympathetic audience, albeit one who's probably heard it before. So feel free to skim/skip this post, but my irritation needs an outlet.


For some reason, over the past couple of days I've been itching to read something about the western theater of the Civil War. It's been awhile since I've read anything on the war (I had a book group on Shelfari a few years ago on the subject, but it petered out after a few months the way that book clubs often do) and I wanted to learn more about the region where the war was decided. The challenge with picking a book on the Civil War is the bounty of riches; there's literally thousands of books out there about it. After doing some research I narrowed it down to Earl J. Hess's volume in the Littlefield History of the Civil War Era series, and then checked with my local libraries to see if they had a copy available to check out.


Only none of them had the book in their collection.


This is supremely annoying on a number of levels. Obviously it;s frustrating in our age of instant gratification not to be able to get what I want when I want it, but what's more frustrating is that this is sparking some of my worst book-buying tendencies. For the past few years I've been trying to moderate my book-buying habits, especially as I have no room for them anymore (every shelf I have is so packed with books that the only way I can make space is by thinning through them on a regular basis). To that end I've been making more of an effort to rely more upon libraries, with the inter-library system at my work my near-infallible last refuge. Only now I can't access it, and even if I could it might take over a week to arrive.


This leaves three options. The first is that I could simply accept that I can't read it and move on to something else, though this seems a betrayal of the very idea of summer reading. The second is to go the e-book route, which I absolutely will not do. That leaves option #3 -- breaking down and buying a copy online, only it's already looking as though I won't be able to stop at one, as in the course of my research I've identified at least four other books I want to read that I may have to buy, just to be sure they're available when I want them.


It looks like I will be thinning through my shelves again in the very near future.