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Problems of 2 NZEF



It was casually mentioned on page 246 that more reading matter would have helped the troops while they were in the field. The demand for books or for anything to read was insatiable. No matter what steps were taken to buy books from every possible source, there were never enough, in part because the wear and tear in the desert and elsewhere was excessive, and men were not as careful as they might have been. Paper covers and desert sand do not go well together. There was no solution; there were just not enough books. It would repay the trouble taken if, at the beginning of a war, someone went round buying up every cheap edition of books he could lay his hands on. The books would never be wasted. It is worth noting also, that there was a tendency to go back to the great classical writers of the nineteenth century – Dickens, Jane Austen, Scott, Lytton and the rest.