Time Traveling With History Books


On any given day, you might find me sailing an early Viking ship along Sweden’s Baltic coast. Or hunkering down behind a pile of rocks awaiting a Confederate charge at Little Round Top. Or inside a field tent in front of Orleans, listening to Joan of Arc detail how the French assault should proceed. Anything, anywhere, anytime is possible to me thanks to my library of history books.

Since June 2006, I have read a total of 110 history books. (Yes, I log them.) Biographies such as CharleMagne by Derek Wilson. Campaign accounts like Revolt in the Desert by T. E. Lawrence. And overviews of entire long-gone civilizations such as The Hittites by O.R. Gurney.

I have gotten to know individuals such as Leonidas of Sparta, Boudica of Britain and Alexander of Macedon — whose personal impact was so strong that it reverberates through the ages. I have learned about peoples and countries I never knew existed such as Parthia and the Icenae. And I have “witnessed” from afar events that changed the course of history. The fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 AD. The Norman victory over the Saxons at the battle of Hastings in 1066 AD. The conclusive repulse of the Persian Empire by the Greeks at the battle of Platea in 479 BC. And so much more.

All that and much more is easily accessible to me thanks to my collection of history books. All bought at bargain prices at flea markets, used bookstores and discount outlets. All carefully organized and displayed on my own built-in library shelves. An indulgence I can readily afford thanks to my very frugal spending on core living expenses. And a very important part of my living experience in my financially free retirement.

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