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markk

markk

Currently reading

The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871
Michael Eliot Howard
Progress: 224/512 pages
Clashes: Air Combat Over North Vietnam, 1965-1972
Marshall L. Michel III
Progress: 150/352 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 277/928 pages

The temptations of availability

Yesterday I was perusing the shelves at one of my local used bookstores when I came across these volumes.

 

They're part of the U.S. Army's official history of their role in the Korean War, one of the many historical events that have long fascinated me. I've encountered the books individually over the years, but never until now have I faced the opportunity to acquire the volumes in such favorable purchasing circumstances.

And of course that was when the contrarian part of me asked, "Should I. though?"

As appealing as the opportunity was, I had to ask the inevitable question of whether I would ever actually read their approximately 2000 pages of closely-packed text, given all of the other books I have already awaiting my attention. I wrestled with this for about half an hour (the kiddo gave me time to do it while he poured over used Pokemon cards) and eventually I decided to get just one of the volumes while returning the other two to their shelf, with the resolution that, should they still be there when I return in a week, I would get them then. Even as I type these words I can already tell that I may end up regretting my decision to hold off on buying the others, but for now I'm willing to leave this one up to fate and the appetite out there for detailed accounts of Cold War-era conflicts in the Far East.