Lately I have been on a First World War aviation reading kick. I don't know why, but the topic is engaging me more than others. I read a couple of books back in February, and I've been searching for some others that can fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge.
That's how I found about Harald Penrose and his five-volume series on British aviation. Penrose was an amazing individual, a test pilot who later in life wrote several books on flight and the history of it. I have no doubt that I've seen his books on shelves before, only now my interests have aligned with his work, and I wouldn't mind trying him out.
Only I can't. My usual starting point after a brief confirmation that my local libraries don't have a book is to request it through Inter-Library Loan. Then after a week or so the book shows up for me to peruse, after which I start it, buy my own copy, or pass on it and move on. But I can't do any of those this because — well, you know why.
At this point, I'm deciding whether to take a plunge on one of the first two volumes, which are the ones that currently interest me the most. This would be easy if the price were right, but while I'm willing to spend $70-80 on a book that I want, I'm much less willing to do so to decide whether it's a book I want. So I'm bidding on a copy on eBay to get it to a price I can live with. Fingers crossed that the seller is either reasonable or desperate!