Recently while killing time before a sales call in the Twin Cities, where the temperature this time of year is 20 degrees colder than in my beloved state of New Jersey, I discovered a little gem. Hidden behind overgrown hemlocks that stand like the angels guarding the garden of Eden, I unknowingly drove past The Battlefield Store three times before I could coax my sat nav into finding the place.

Inside is the Grand Canyon of military publishing. Years and years of publishing artifacts can be found there: entire Time Life, Ballantine and Presidio series; long-out-of-print biographies of Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin; and old magazines and mass market paperbacks piled to the rafters. On the Osprey front, there were four spinners that teemed with books---stacks of men-at-arms without the blue cover band---and the notorious “trade” editions, which I had never seen before and which are in fact are quite handsome. (I now know where to send customers who covet the odd out-of-stock Osprey!)

The proprietor, Bob, was a sweet, gentle soul, as so many in this industry are, who has a flair for the bargain. Hanging behind his desk was a 20\' Red Chinese flag that he bought at surplus for a few dollars each. Racks and racks of military uniforms made the shop feel more like a Sears & Roebuck than a used bookstore. But oh! the books! Would that I had more than 20 minutes there! I could spend the next 10 years browsing the shelves. Unfortunately (or fortunately), most of Bob\'s sales come through his ebay site these days, where you can only view one book at a time. The glory of this shop is the fact that gathered into one place is 40 years of military publishing. It made me wistful about the brainstorming meetings we have from time to time at Osprey, where we think we\'re innovating, but in reality, everything that could be done in this world, has already been done. It\'s quite humbling, but also soul stirring.