Thursday, January 13, 2005

Lost My "Collector's Gene?"

When I first started buying things at even a very young age I tried my best to keep them for as long as possible. Be it comics, toys, books and later movies, I just wanted the stuff on hand.

I can remember as a kid coming home some days and being shocked that my mom had given away/thrown away the pile of comics I'd had for 6 months. Even though I hadn't touched the books in a couple of months it still made me mad that she saw them as unnecessary clutter.

This collecting trend continued long into my adulthood. I had at one point boxes and boxes of comics. When DVDs made their debut I started collecting as many of those as possible, and my bookshelves for novels was incredibly stuffed volumes with novels I'd gotten when I was 6 to now.

Then one day I woke up one day and found myself wondering "What on Earth am I keeping all of this stuff for?" I'd realized that no matter how much I try I was never going to get everything I wanted. When I realized that it started a real change, because that feeling of "I got it all!" was never going to be realized.

Still I had all of this stuff and I had to make myself think on why or if I was going to keep them. Was I planning to someday rereading/rewatching all of these books/movies? W

Well maybe some of them, but with so much new stuff that looks interesting coming out every week it seems. The likely hood of ever making my way through the sheer volume of stuff I had was doubtful. Not to mention fast approaching the point where if I wanted to then I better stop getting new stuff now, as I had enough to last me for decades.

So I started taking hard looks at my own collections, selling/giving away DVDs I was never going to watch again. Trading and/or donating books to friends and libraries and the like. Oh I still have my own collections so to speak, I'll never part with my Zot! books (and some others) which are just ones I pick off the shelf even now to read. Plus DVDs like the Buffy Season sets and the like will also never leave.

Yet I've changed my buying habits a great deal. I've learned that the experience of reading and/or watching something was what I'm after not the items themselves. I've signed up with things like Netflix which allows me to meet that in videos. Libraries help me out in the novel department.

Comics are a bit more troublesome in some respects, because I live in a small area so they don't carry many comics in the libraries. Yet that just means my buying habits trend towards only trades or manga books, some that I know friends might be interested in later. Then I can enjoy the experience and then trade with these friends for more stuff, that I can then trade off to others for more.

I do feel a little envious still of those who do have the time, space and income to maintain their huge collections. Yet breaking myself of it has certainly freed up my time a great deal not having to maintain all of the various collections I had. Not to mention saved me a great deal of money and clutter in the house, and allowed me to enjoy everything more since I don't have to worry where to put it afterwards.

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