What Should I Collect And Why?

What Should I Collect And Why?

The fact that you have found your way to the Collector Monitor website and you are reading this article could well indicate that you have already been overcome by that feeling of need to collect ‘things’.

Emotional Connection…

For some of us, collecting enables us to reconnect emotionally with our childhood, for others the ownership of history enables us to live, even if only momentarily, in a period that we are attracted to or feel strongly about. Collecting enables us to maintain part of ourselves and to take the past into the present and the present into the future.

The Thrill Of The Hunt…

For those of us who collect, the thrill of the hunt for our most prized objects becomes almost an obsession, the need to complete our collection a must. As our collection grows, the rarer of items become harder to find and the hunger to own them intensifies. Over time our knowledge increases and we acquire expertise in our chosen collection almost by default. In summary, we don’t only own the objects we collect, we own the knowledge too. We become secure in the collection we have invested in and the knowlege gleaned from the time we have devoted.

Global Guardians Of Passion…

If the above cannot be described as ‘passion’ then, frankly, I don’t know a better definition. Arguably, it is that same passion that makes us human, that drives us, that feeds our imagination, that provides a basis for sharing and underpins social cohesion. I wouldn’t wish for a world without passion and perhaps it is ‘passion’ that Collectors are really gathering and cherishing, the objects we collect a wonderful representation of it. A warming and hopeful thought indeed. I rather like the idea that, together, Collectors are the global guardians of ‘passion’ and long may we continue.

Whatever Rocks Your Boat…

So… given that we Collectors are the ‘Global Guardians of Passion’ (Ooh, that feels even better the second time I have written it) … what are the objects that we collect and what are the objects we should collect?

The answer is… whatever rocks your boat (so to speak). Everything and anything you choose to collect will be worth a great deal to you and, later, will mean a great deal to someone else with the same interest too. Your collection will be rarely lost and its part in history will be preserved, at least, for the time it is in your hands.

Very often we have subconsciously already made the decision as to what we should collect and, indeed, have already taken steps. For example, I realise now that I subconsciously had a thing for pens and stationery in general since earlier than I can reliably recall. I am drawn (pardon the inadvertent pun) to pens for reasons that I cannot explain but I think probably stems from hours of drawing, colouring and writing when I was a child. I couldn’t enter a store without spending ages just looking at (and moreoften buying) the range of different items available. Stationery was my metaphorical opium and WHSmith and Staples were willing dealers (albeit legal and responsible of course). It wasn’t long before I had drawers and cupboards full of stationery delights and even now, some (*number not willingly disclosed*) years later, still cannot resist the urge of ‘WOW’ing at new offerings.

Boring for some? Yes. Boring for me? Resoundingly, No! Do I consider myself as a ‘Collector’ of these items? Not really but the quantity of it I have in drawers and cupboards might indicate that indeed I am and probably deluded to the degree that I think I am not! Disclosing all of this it has brought to mind that I have a drawer full of old cumputer leads dating back some considerable years too but that is another story. These ‘collections’ need not be intentional, sometimes they just sneak up on us.

Don’t Be Afraid To Go Weird…

The range of items that are readily deemed as collectables (‘collectibles’ in U.S English) is very wide, the Collector Monitor website menu provides options for everything from ‘advertising collectables‘ to ‘weird stuff‘ because the items we collect don’t have to be widely recognised branded memorabilia. Each of us is unique and our interests can be too. The ‘totally bizarre‘ being no less interesting to the beholder.

Ask Around…

Many of us probably have known a ‘stamp collector‘ (‘Philatelist’ to use the correct term), a ‘coin collector‘ (‘Numismatist’) or an ‘Autograph hunter‘ among our friends and family. Perhaps Mum or Grandma collect ‘animal figurines‘ ? Grandpa collects ‘model trains‘ or ‘model boats‘? Cousin collects ‘teddy bears or dolls‘ ? If they do then I might bet that they have a wish list for the rarer items to add to their collection. Invariably, for as long as relatives know that they collect things, they never have a shortage of items they would like as a gift.

If you are ever stuck for ideas at gift time it is probably worth asking around to see who collects what. Just this one little question alone can change the ‘awkward to buy for’ into ‘ the super easy to buy for’ and more than likely will give rise to a delighted smile from the receiver. For collectors, it is not only the gift item that provides delight, it is the fact that someone has shared in the interest of their collection too. Who knows? The collectable gift buyer might find themselves attracted to collecting too and quite by accident. It is so often found that the best things in life come to us unexpectedly.

Find It, Own It, Love It…

In conclusion, I think it is safe to say that there are no hard and fast rules as to what we should collect and why. Undoubtedly we will collect something we have an emotional attachment to whether by simple attraction or desire to preserve. Undoubtedly we will start our collections with a few readily available items and then progress to ‘rarer items‘ as our collection and knowledge grows. Undoubtedly there will be friends and family who might think our collecting is intriguing even if sometimes a little odd. All of this both matters and doesn’t matter… We love the items we buy, we love the finding, we love the ownership… We are The Global Guardians of Passion and may collecting ‘live long and prosper’ (yes, I stole that last quote from ‘Star Trek‘ another hot collectable. Collecting really is intrinsic to our everyday thoughts!)

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