When I was a child my grandfather had a great big bookshelf upon which he had all sorts of books. He was interested in all sorts of things, but he especially liked the novels of Zane Grey and Lour L’Amour. I read Riders of the Purple Sage for the first time when I was 11 years old and I probably read most of the Zane Grey Novels. Pappy had a very nice set of them, which I would guess included around 20 or more novels in hardbound editions. I really wanted to have them when he died, but they ended up being donated to the local library in a tiny town in Western Kentucky.
Right now I have become well enough off that I have started collected books much seriously. My oldest books are all paperbacks and many of them are almost worn beyond use as we have a house filled with avid readers. So I began to replace the most important volumes with hardcover versions about a decade ago. I have never found the sort of Zane Grey set that I am looking for. I did find a beautiful set of Allan Nevin’s 8 volume Ordeal of the Union while I was looking for it. My wife had a fit when she found out how much I had paid for it. I nearly had a fit when I realized that I could turn around and sell it for a substantial profit. Eventually I decided to do that, but only after I had read each one of those huge books. It was a bit of an ordeal to give that set up. I knew that Nevins had spent almost a quarter of a decade working on a true masterpiece of historical nonfiction. He never even got to Reconstruction. However I also wanted to buy other books with the money.