Wednesday, April 28, 2021

With some time suddenly on my hands, I'm going to do a little reading

As an officially unemployed person, my main job is of course to get a job. And I spend time each day trying to do just that. Something will eventually come along, so I'm not especially worried.

In the meantime, I'm able to engage in household chores, do a little yardwork, and even indulge in some leisure activities that never seem to fit into my daily schedule when I'm working.

An example of the latter is reading.

I have always called myself a reader, which would be fine if it weren't for the fact that I haven't done that much actual reading over the past, oh, say 30 years. I like to read, I want to read. I've just not elected to make the time for it since my college years.

Oh, I've read several books in the intervening decades, but it's not the regular sort of pastime I would like it to be.

In particular, I like to read my World War I books. I've checked several of those off my list over time, but there are still many more in the "planning to read" column than there are in the "been there, read that" column.

A good number of these books I own, but others I get from our excellent public library here in Wickliffe.

There is essentially one small section of Great War books at the Wickliffe Public Library, as shown here:

You will notice two red circles in that photo, both depicting larger books that have been on my list for quite some time.

The one on the left is called "Castles of Steel." It details the naval conflict between Britain and Germany before and during World War I. And when I say "details," I'm not kidding. It's 788 pages long, not counting the notes, bibliography and index.

"Castles of Steel" was published in 2003, and ever since then I've wanted to read it. Just never had time. Here's what it looks like up close and personal:

It's sizeable.

The book on the right is titled "Isonzo," and it chronicles the long series of wasteful battles between Italy and Austria-Hungary in the area of the River Isonzo during the war. It's a relatively pedestrian 350 pages, but given how much I don't know about the campaign, I've always wanted to dive into it.

Faced with the choice of how to spend some of the open time on my sparse appointment calendar, I went to the library yesterday and checked out "Castles of Steel." Go big or go home and all of that, you know. I'm starting it today and estimate it's going to take a good month to get through.

I do, after all, have to spend some time finding a job. I'm not a total slacker.

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