When in the course of my wargamng life I get bored or tired of wargames and wargaming in general, what to do? Hit the books.

I'm in a transition phase: My desire to play or purchase wargames has given over to reading, reading, and reading. Currently I'm reading Mao's China and After (Maurice Meisner), The Collapse of the Third Republic
(William L. Shirer), and The Viet-Nam Reader (Marcus Raskin and Bernard B. Fall).

Most of my book purchases are through Abe Books. I can usually find a title I'm looking for and as low as a US dollar (plus shipping). Really can't beat the savings as compared to the chain bookstores.
Still, there's nothing like walking into a bookstore and perusing while drinking some coffee, and perhaps meeting up with people who are in the same section and discuss certain titles with them.
Nothing beats human contact.

Now I'm swinging back to wargames-little by little. And once I've finished my reading I'll be getting back into wargaming full force.

With Spring a few weeks away then it's the Great Outdoors!! But wargames will be in the forefront of my free time, along with reading.
My Spring reading will be the Pentagon Papers that I downloaded from a university site. Well over a thousand pages, but should make for a fascinating study regarding the behind the scenes affairs of the US government's role in the Vietnam War.
I'll read it with the caveat that it is, basically, a US Government publication....

Ciao.

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Comment by Alfredo M. Battaglia on March 20, 2008 at 5:06am
Hello, Enrico.

I'm seeing a pattern here as more people post how they game, then grow weary of it. Then they read, then back to games. Pretty common is right!

I accept the honorary membership! Not that I speak a word of Italian/Sicilian. But one day I hope to visit my family in Palermo and Potenza.

Ciao!
Comment by enrico acerbi on March 19, 2008 at 5:42am
Hi Alfredo
this waving in the hobby interests is very common. As for me the books reading (and writing too) often stopped my gamer activities ... but History is a great link between those branches ..
I consider you as an honorary member of the italian group La Compagnia di Ventura ...
A big hi from a (currently) sunny and warm land

Enrico
Comment by Alfredo M. Battaglia on March 8, 2008 at 7:35am
First. Nicola, glad to be part of the family - somewhere along the line! My family on my mothers side (Padula-Tropea-Sofere) is from Potenza; and on my father's side (Battaglia) - from Palermo.

Some of my family in Chicago visited the family home where we all began. Check out the Sofere Family website at www.Sofere.com and click on the visit to Italy pics.

I've been reading more on the Vietnam war lately, as well as the politics from all sides. Here, I have to admit, that Twilight Struggle, and specifically the card entitled, "Vietnam Quagmire" actually interested me to purchase a few books related to the period leading up to and including the Vietnam War.

I buy a wargame based on the military books I already have, and I have plenty of books! But my wargame collection is few in numbers because I don't like buying three or eight games based on the same battle. One or two is enough.
However, I will buy at least three books on the same subject: military or otherwise. Still cheaper than wargames!

John, like you I don't have a lot of the history in my head, but just the basics of a particular battle or campaign. Unless I begin to underline passages or make notations in the margins, I retain only superficial information from what I've read.
And quite a number of my books are underlined!

One book I have yet to purchase is Sun Tzu's-The Art of War. After checking out several books sites I notice that there are too many of his books written by various authors. Which to choose?
I would prefer to read Sun's book as it applies to actual military usage, or where an author would paraphrase Sun Tzu's writing with military anecdotes and/or battles related to his sayings.
Anyone have an idea on this?

I don't collect "collectors" books. I have no use for a book just languishing on my shelf; it has to be read.
But the one books I have yet to find is a hardbound-copy of a book titled: The Complete Games of Paul Keres. I forget the authors name, but Paul was a famous Estonian Chess master.

Now I'm slowly making my way back into wargaming. But I'm starting out by playing Matrix's Steel Panthers on my computer.
Once I get bored with that, then I'll start with the boxed games which will last until the Winter. Then I'll get bored of that and delve into reading, reading, and more reading.
This is not to say that I don't read throughout the year, I do. But usually in the Winter, for some strange reason, I always have the urge to read several books at once - for pure enjoyment. Even when reading the 'hard-core' books like Foreign Studies or Politics and Current Events.

But, whenever I read a military book, regardless of the period, it's one at a time!

Ciao!
Comment by John Kranz on March 7, 2008 at 11:41pm
For me, when I have the opportunity to get into a game, I pretty much have to read a book or I may look for a primer because I don't want to make foolish ahistorical mistakes or not understand the basics of the battle/campaign. I don't have a lot of military history stored in my head, so I enjoy coming across games that pique my interest that I will then look for associated reading material for.
Comment by Andreas Ludwig on March 7, 2008 at 5:23pm
For me it's not either or, but it's two sides of one coin. When I start to learn a new wargame I usually also start collecting/reading books on the subject (as it is now the case with FitS/EotS and books on the Pacific War). I like this combination to get the most out of the game and to use it as a learning tool while reading the books. This way I can also decide how accurate the game follows/recreates the historical event, because I get to know the facts via the books. So, I agree with Kim - it goes hand in hand.
Comment by Kim Meints on March 7, 2008 at 11:02am
Reading books on military history is my fall back from wargaming. plus it's a rush when I get in a new book-just like when a new wargame does.

I pulled back out from my bookcases Bernard Falls -Street Without Joy Been awhile since I last read it. also I'm reading the new Lost Battles by Philip Sabin. very good reading. Books also bring me back to wanting to play a game on the subject I just read about. so Books and our gaming hobby go hand in hand so well.
Comment by Nicola Contardi on March 7, 2008 at 8:37am
Alfredo,
Your post hit me.
Not only because your surname is my mother's first name (Battaglia), but mostly because I tend to do the same. And not only while playing, but also in my work of designing wargames.
When that moment comes (the moment I lose my inspiration), what remains to me is returning to my books.
Reading gives me the initial intuition to design, reading gives me more gas when ideas tend to fritter...
Ciao

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