Recently, I ventured into a large chain bookstore. For some odd reason, I felt particularly drawn to the military section this trip. Though, I did not immediately notice any section labeled “Military”. Instead, after some searching, I found myself staring down shelves of “Warfare” and military history divided by sections (Civil War, WWI, WWII, and so on). Scanning the bookshelves I found myself silently lost in the volumes and wanting to sit down and rifle through them all. However, short on time as I was, I snapped out of my trance and continued to poke around and see what looked appealing and new. As if by second nature, I went to look for something on the Coast Guard. I couldn’t find anything. Hmph.
Ok, perhaps I just wasn’t looking hard enough. Maybe, I thought, there was another “Military” section, and I overlooked it in my haste. So, I sauntered over to the help desk and asked if the rep could point me in the right direction of any Coast Guard books they might have in stock. To my surprise, she said they did not have a single Coast Guard book on the shelves or in a back room.
Are you kidding me? Yes, I asked this out loud. I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I was astonished. The woman sheepishly grinned and gave me a half-hearted shrug. Well, she said, I can print you out a list and you can order the books off the list. It will take roughly 3-7 business days. She informed me there were approximately 120 books on the list. I didn’t see having pages upon pages printed out, so I asked if she could just give me the first 25, which ended up being just 3 printed pages.
I'll admit, I was a little sad and frustrated by this. The other services rated (pun intended) presence on the bookshelves, but not the CG? Days later, I’m still perplexed by the conspicuously missing books. So, maybe it all was just conspicuous to me. Still, with the general public's increased awareness, familiarity and interest in the Coast Guard over the past few years, I would have expected at least one book.
Anyone care to share their thoughts? What Coast Guard items have you been searching for and not been able to find or easily access?