A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 4 March 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Probability Well


Following comments on a recent posting, I decided to obtain a copy of David Gates' The Spanish Ulcer to replace the one which I sold some years ago, before I had had a chance to read it. I guess I don't really need any more books on the Peninsular War, but this one is well thought of.

I had a scratch around online - there were some used paperbacks for sale here and there, and it was obvious from the price of good hardback copies that the book is in some demand. I was delighted to obtain a decent hardback copy on eBay at a very reasonable price. It arrived this morning, posted from Wigtown, in the bottom left corner of Scotland.

It is an excellent copy - it smells faintly of cigarette smoke, but not upsettingly so. On the front endpaper is my name, dated August 1986.

I sold a large part of my book collection - in the days before eBay - to a dealer in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. The seller who sold it to me this week says it came from a military collection in East Kilbride, so it has circulated around southern and central Scotland for over a decade. Scotland is not a heavily populated country, but when you consider the events that led up to my decision to purchase, this is still a fairly long shot.

Anyway, it's back, and I am pleased to see it. Thanks to all who contributed to the discussion which brought this about.

5 comments:

  1. As Harry Hill might say - what are the chances of that happening!
    There are a few good book shops in Wigtown (no surprise really considering it's 'Scotland's Book Town') one of which has a huge second hand selection, and another also sells GW, Airfix and Humbrol...all that in the middle of nowhere.. It's only about 40 minutes drive away so you've reminded me that i really should pop along more often. Cheers.

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  2. There is a part of me that wonders if you have done the math (selling cost vs re-buying cost, inflation considered) to figure out what it cost you to "store the book offsite".

    -Ross

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  3. Coincidence or synchronicity? what impelled me like magnetism to add that recommendation? Thoughts of all the losses from an exe-esposa, as the Spanish would call it, I thought, but was it some other, more primal force intervening in the affairs of men?

    I'd be looking at how my handwriting had deteriorated. Of course instead of imagining it, I can just go pull it off the stack and see for myself.

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  4. This morning, while I was trying to engineer some space on the Peninsular War shelves in the bookcase, the book spoke to me.

    It said, "And this time you'd better read me."

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  5. I still haven't quite managed to buy any figures from e-bay off myself...

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