Saturday, August 25, 2007

Books and reading

Location, Dorchester, WI

I read a lot. At times I have 2 books going at once. I read both fiction and non-fiction. The fiction for pleasure and the non-fiction to learn something. Presently, I am reading a rather heavy tome called “Post War” about the aftermath of WWII in Europe. I got interested in this subject after reading Cornelius Ryan’s book “The Last Battle”, about the capture of Berlin by the Russians. I wondered how people coped with the destruction and total breakdown of the economy. How did they get food? How did they find work?

For years the US provided food and work through the Marshall Plan. Some countries were reduced to less than 1000 calories per day per person. The US Army administered food distribution in the immediate aftermath of the war but was barely able to feed its own men at times.

It is remarkable how fast Europe rebounded from total defeat. Some countries took longer the others to accomplish this but by 1953 most countries were on the way to full recovery thanks in large part to America.

Enough of a history lesson for today. For pleasure I am reading “Donovan” a book about “Wild Bill Donovan” the founder of the modern CIA. Bill Donovan was a most unique man who gathered knowledge where ever he went. He used this knowledge to defeat Hitler and bind England and the USA together for the common good in WWII.

I like certain authors, especially if they write a series of books that are related. I keep a book list which is double column and several pages long now. I mark each book in the list as in my possession but unread or I have read it. I use this list when I am looking for books to purchase.

I buy books at garage sales, used bookstores or on-line. I trade books at bookstores that have a trade policy. I order books on-line at After registering and listing 13 books I wish to trade, I can order 3 books I want. The only cost occurs when someone requests a book from you and you pay the shipping cost which is at the media rate of about $1.43 per book. After you mail the book, the recipient registers that they have received it and you receive 1 credit good for another book. This really is a great way to get books not available in your home area.