I'm sure we all have a few of them, but was just thinking this morning of one of my biggest hobby regrets.
It goes way back to when I was at university. I was a repressed wargamer at the time and a post-grad student - the two may in fact have borne some relation to each other - but however that was, being a graduate student had certain privileges, and I found out on a particular Friday what one of them was.
We were greeted this morning with a note in the common room inviting us to visit room X on the Xteenth floor of the university library that afternoon. It turned out that a retired professor from the university had passed away and bequeathed his enormous collection of books to the university library. Those that could not be used were to be given to the graduate students, and so we were allowed to go and look over the collection and take from there any books that we might want.
When we arrived we saw a room absolutely chocker-block with books. It was like the best used book store you've ever seen: literature, history, classical studies, languages, religious studies, reference materials; it was a goldmine of the humanities. I found a banana box and spent a memorable hour or so wandering around and filling it up. When I was about ready to leave (and sweating under the weight of these glorious gifts), I saw on one shelf a complete set of the Cambridge Ancient History.
It looked a bit like this:
I had used the CAH a lot during my undergrad years and it was an amazing resource. I thought about it, but decided not to take them. Although I was still doing some classical study at the time, I was more of a literature man by then and felt it would be greedy to take them all and that someone from the Classics department would no doubt get better use out of them than I would.
Still, it was with a slightly sorrowful step that I turned away and went out the door.
Well, fast-forward eight years to 2005 when I was becoming a proper wargamer focused mainly on the Roman Republican era and eager for any information I could find, how I kicked myself for not having picked that set up.
But the thing that's haunted me most about it was that unbeknownst to us the unclaimed books from that lot were to be chucked away, and I don't know if the Classics students even got a chance to have a look through.
I do hope that someone somewhere saved them from the fire!