I can’t believe I now have the book, soundtrack, and beautiful tin set of Band of Brothers! I remember getting the book in July 23, 2011 — at the closing of the Borders bookstore. I roamed the World War II section, looking for interesting war books, and noticed the large number of “beyond Band of Brothers” and “the untold stories from Band of Brothers” type of books. Must be something famous, I thought. But I’d already singled out My Father’s Country to buy, and I was hesitant to get another book. My sister, three books in her cart, and my father, with two already stashed away, protested my stringiness. But I left to return Band of Brothers anyway. Then when I slipped it back, I saw another copy of the book, much cleaner and shiny. I debated and snatched it, returning to smiling faces. Little did I know what I was getting into.
Starting to read the book on September 5 of the same year, I found myself bogged by military ranks and terminology, names and places. I was frustrated. Then I saw the accompanying miniseries in the library and snatched it, deciding to watch it on my own on the side. Maybe the film version would help to just get an overview picture of the story. “I’ll just watch it by my lonesome at night,” I wrote on September 21. It would be my very first show I’d watch just by myself.
So I did, and finally realized what I really was getting into. I fell in love with Winters and Malarkey and the whole quality of the thing.
Stupidly, I tried to read ahead and then watch the corresponding episode. I see now it should have been the reverse. It worked out in the end, though, because I was able to relive the episodes anew through my sister, whose innocent wonder brings out new emotions in me. Her participation in watching marked a breakthrough in our fun times together: This time, I was sharing my interest with her. Before, she had shared hers: personality, apologetics. Now she was hooked with me, her thrill infectious.
We got so involved that I wanted to have a piece of the show to keep forever. On November 5 I ordered the soundtrack, my first fun thing I purchased from my own debit card. A week later, I had the book and the soundtrack.
My father had noticed our midnight escapes into this world of “gunfire,” and as a battle kind of movie viewer, he naturally was curious. He wanted to sit in on one of the episodes, but he was tired that night. Besides, as we told him, “We want you to start at the beginning so you can get the full impact.” He laughed. He’s also a shoot-em-up-Harry, genre type of movie viewer. Emotional impact does not immediately appeal to him. But I’m sure the literature won’t be lost to him.
Besides, it was a perfect excuse to buy the shiny tin box and complete my collection. The library’s copy was sure to be borrowed quickly and often, I couldn’t rip the last of the special features to my computer, and we had to return soon what was fast becoming “my” copy. And to see that glorious cinematography on the big screen? I just had to buy it, and I decided to trump nostalgia and sell my latest textbook to appease my stinginess. A refund on another textbook rounded out the monetary balance. But my mother was still surprised when we told her for the second time that I had bought it. Somehow she missed our announcement earlier.
So I ordered it on November 20 and returned my library copy — on the due date, after a little over two months of it in my possession, having renewed it time and time again on the final days of its lease to me. I had even printed a brand new cover for the thing; a nice one that wasn’t water-stained like the library photocopy. I felt like I was giving away a little piece of me.
But today, I can put that all aside. My shiny tin box set has arrived, and my little circle is complete. I am truly a fan.