Bud is about to embark upon his epic journey to Grand Rapids. Bud reckons that the journey will take about twenty-four hours on foot, and he writes down a list of all the cities he'll have to pass through: Owosso, Ovid, St. John's, Ionia, and Lowell.
Bud obtains this list of cities from a book he borrows from the library. When he brings the book back, the smiling librarian has a nice little surprise waiting for him. As one might expect, it's a book. But it's not just any book; it's The Pictorial History of the War Between the States.
In other words, it's a book about the American Civil War with lots of pictures in it. Bud gratefully accepts this massive tome and takes it to his table.
He doesn't have the heart to tell the librarian that he isn't really all that interested in history. The real reason why he's so enthusiastic about the book is that it's full of gory pictures. According to Bud, the best gory pictures in the world come from the Civil War, and the book given to him by the librarian is full of them. In his humble opinion, that's what makes it a really great book.