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Ratio of Military to Non-Military books in your personal library

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  • Ratio of Military to Non-Military books in your personal library

    I am thinking that mosy ACG'ers out there have a serious book collection, and was just wondering how much of it was deveoted to Non-military topics. Personally I'd say that about 1/3 of the books that I own are in some way military oriented, mostly non fiction.

    What about everyone else?
    One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

    "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
    Wu Cheng'en Monkey

  • #2
    I may be out of whack, but in my collection I have 3/4 military/history books. I do check out a fair share of books (non-military/history) from my library, but obviously that does not count in this topic. Books I buy are from a battlefield I have visited (most recently Petersburg) or a topic I am learning about - or for a computer game I have as a way to enhance the experience.
    "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
    -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

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    • #3
      Interesting question.

      I have 3 large bookshelves full, and about 4 boxes full.

      On the 3 bookshelves, I have 8 books that are not military related, and 1 of those is a dictionary and 1 a bible.
      Not sure about the boxes, but it can't be much more than 10 or so non-military books in those.

      All told probably about 97-98% military related.
      Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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      • #4
        At university I preferred to buy books than use the University Library (which was to my detriment as it was one of the biggest in the UK, though it must be stressed, the collection relative to our course was not THAT good but did have a few titles which would have been rare and expensive had I bought them) This meant that I built up an unusually large collection of books on military related subjects compared to my two neighbours who had roughly the same amount between them, or people in some other disciplines I knew (One of my housemates had very, very few books and she was studying Politics and History).
        As people from our course tended to live in the same houses as it was our social group, we could amass large combined libraries on military history/conduct of war. In fact that was a good reason to live with people off the course.

        However, compared to some here my collection is not so grand. Probably because you're all ancient.
        I have four bookshelves, two large, two small. In large bookshelf one we have a lot of course related books in shelf order of;
        Terrorism and Counterinsurgency, Seapower, Internartional Relations and Defence policy, Misc. The American Civil War, WWI, Very large books which don't fit on other shelves. Small Book case one has mostly popular military history on the top shelves and Strategic Theory on the others.
        Bookshelves large two and small two are non-military subjects (mostly) With fiction, references (my grandmother's old Atlases and encyclopaedias) and hunting. There's a few Samurai books there too.
        So roughly, by my sorting out method, it's a ratio of roughly 50% though including the more popular picture books on WWII aircraft and stuff like that, it's more like 60% military related. As I have three bookcases in one room and one in another, it's a never ending task to organise the different kinds of books into different groups so they are where I want them.
        My dad has a low counter-style book case too which is mostly World War II, Regimental History and Arctic/Antarctic Exploration.
        ------
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        • #5
          Including history, I would say just about 3/4's to 7/8's of them. The ratio is closing to all as I get older.
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          • #6
            I'm a huge reader, got around 700 books either on my Kindle or paper copies lying around the house.

            Of them, around 80 are non-fiction military books on my kindle and about a dozen paper ones and about 30 fictional military books.

            Saying that though, a large number of the books on my Kindle I got when they were available for free for a limited time that I probably wouldn't have bought otherwise whereas my military ones, even the ones I downloaded for free, I'd probably still have ended up buying anyway. Much prefer non-fiction military over other genres, although I'm a big Sci-Fi and Horror fan too

            Speaking of free military books on Kindle, Squadron 303 about the RAF Squadron in the Battle of Britain is available for free today if anyone's interested

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
              Including history, I would say just about 3/4's to 7/8's of them. The ratio is closing to all as I get older.
              I have made myself a rule that I keep the military to non-military ratio 50% for new purchases (precious few since kids), though polar/subsea exploration seems to be making up a fair chunk of the rest.
              One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions - Admiral Grace Hopper

              "The eunuch should not take pride in his chastity."
              Wu Cheng'en Monkey

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Starfire View Post
                Speaking of free military books on Kindle, Squadron 303 about the RAF Squadron in the Battle of Britain is available for free today if anyone's interested
                Thanks for the hint!
                I got a kindle last year and all of my books are fiction. Mostly thrillers. Right now I'm working myself through Tom Clancy's Ryanverse.
                My non-fiction (military) history books make about 75% of my entire library, I think. Most of it about air warfare.

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                • #9
                  It depends on what you mean by military. For example, I have almost everyone of the "Foreign Relations of the US" volumes that cover the Vietnam era. This is the State Department diplomatic history, yet obviously it covers diplomatic history with a country at war. When it comes to Vietnam, I have plenty of examples like this.

                  Vietnam probably constitutes 60 percent of my library, maybe a bit more.

                  If you discard the Vietnam stuff then the library probably is about evenly divided between military and non military books.

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                  • #10
                    I actually had to get up and look. It's definitely close to 90% military, including fiction. I have a number of books that I got when I was a child that I plan on giving to my own children one day; a few nice leather bound copies of some of the classics like Huckleberry Finn, and King Arthur. I have an ancient copy of the complete Sherlock Holmes also. Aside from that, it's shelf after shelf of military histories. The thing is, aside from the classics I mentioned, I hardly ever buy any fiction or anything I don't feel like I'll ever refer to again; it's just too easy to get a paperback like that from the library. The reason I have some serious tomes is that I know I'll be paging through them repeatedly for years, whereas I'll likely forget that Grishom novel the day after I read it.

                    This is somewhat sad.
                    ...how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him.

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                    • #11
                      I have about 4000 volumes, most deals with history in some form and era...but I would have to say that 50% are in some way military related.

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                      • #12
                        Well I just have one hundred books on kindle. 20 0f them are of a military sort. So that puts me at about 20% I think that would include my physical library as well. I was an English major so I think probably 30-40% would be literature or science fiction, 30-40% theology (maybe more as I have much of this in e format) and what ever the rest works out to be would be general history. Good question.
                        "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
                        John Adams, 1770

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                        • #13
                          On my kindle I am 50/50 between fiction and military history/biography. There's also some journals I keep for my courses but I don't count those. In paper I'd say I'm about 60/40, the 60 being fiction. I think this is largely because my fiction collection tends to be shorter and faster paced reading than the history.
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                          And the second?
                          Always have an escape plan.
                          -Q

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                          • #14
                            Probably 50/50.

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                            • #15
                              About a third I'd guess if you count fictionalized accounts like "the Killer Angels". That's not counting field manuals and such.
                              Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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