Back in the day before that day...
I remember when a book told you about ROM and OS calls, not APIs! Wasn't there a second-hand bookshop near the top of Charing Cross Road (near a similar second-hand CD place) that had a load of computing books? I got a few very informative volumes about the Atari ST from there.
On another note I recall p*ssing off the entire English department of my school without realising it. I'd won a prize of a book token and the deal was we chose a book, bought it, then returned it to the school to be dished out at an awards evening in front of assembled parents. But afterwards, I was subject to derision and abuse from my barking mad, Victorian-attitude English teacher, and I had no idea why.
It was only much later that I realised the deluded staff honestly thought they were instilling a love of literature in their students, and my choice of 'The Complete Spectrum ROM Disassembly' as a literature prize rather tactlessly highlighted their failings. It was apparently referred to as 'not even a proper book'; Doctors Ian Logan and Frank O'Hara apparently not on the department's list of acceptably tedious and departed authors.