What Is Collecting – Is It A Hobby Or An Obsession?

People collect, amass, store and hoard just about anything. Some are put up for display (like fine art), yet, others remain in attics and basement, sealed away forever. People collect just about anything including: marbles, coins, political memorabilia, cookie jars, autographs, sports memorabilia, jewelry, Pez dispensers, snow globes, stamps, vinyl records, sports cards, comic books, toys, ceramics, jewelry…. why the list is endless.

People have always collected something either as a hobby or an investment. In fact, one of the first American numismatists began collecting coins in 1817 and it was a collection of American cents from each year. But, coin collecting has a history going back to ancient times when the ancient Romans were interested in and collected Greek and Roman coins.

There have been many famous people who have collected one thing or another. It is reported that a certain U.S. attorney has amassed a collection of more than 200,000 railroad nails and a Russian countess collected bedpans that had previously belonged to rich and famous people. King Louis XIV of France thoroughly enjoyed his daily visit to the French Royal Coin Collection, noting that he could ‘always find something new to learn.’ In addition, actor Buddy Ebsen, who portrayed the loveable hillbilly Jed Clampett, was fond of collecting ancient coins. The flamboyant rock star Freddie Mercury, of the band Queen, was an avid stamp collector as a boy. Many famous musicians have huge vinyl record collections, including Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Peter Wolf (of the J. Geils Band), and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), just to name a few.

Many collecting hobbies have “sub genres.” For instance, collecting vinyl records can be divided into any number of specific categories. One could collect specific genres of music (Big Band, Jazz, Classical, etc.) or be partial to a particular record label such as Capitol, Reprise, RCA, Columbia and many others. Some may also collect 45’s, picture discs, record sleeves, colored vinyl records, picture discs….well, you get the idea. It is well known that famed pop artist Robert Crumb (who designed the famous album cover for Janis Joplin’s “Cheap Thrills” LP) was keen on collecting 78 rpm records and had amassed quite a collection.

Maybe you know someone who collects Pez dispensers. They may have famous celebrities, cartoon characters, specific colored ones, and different years of release and so on. Comic book collectors could also collect a specific type of comic, like super heroes, Archie comics, adult comics, Disney comics or even black and white comics from years gone by.

But, exactly why do people collect? They could gain a measure of satisfaction and pleasure from simply displaying the objects they collect. Sometimes, it is the nostalgia bug that compels people to collect items from a specific era. It could be an item that is associated with their childhood, a famous person or a world famous event. Some collect because of the intrinsic value of an item, and the fact that the item may be desirable to others and can command a profit if they sold it. An item could also have a specific provenance that could compel interest.

Now, is collecting an obsession or some form of “pack rat fever?” The Webster’s dictionary defines the word collect to mean “to gather (stamps, books etc.) for a hobby.” A collectible is something “that can be collected, suitable for collections; as by a hobbyist-any class of old things, but, not antiques, that people collect as a hobby.” It further states that a collector is “a person who collects stamps, books, etc. as a hobby.” Products are also manufactured with “collectibility” in mind, such as “limited edition” items like vinyl records, coins, art prints or even cookie jars.

Moreover, the collectible’s market has expanded in recent years and fueled by annual price guides, books on the subject, television shows, collectible conventions and Internet auction sites; the collectible’s market is now a global phenomenon. There are also professionals who specialize in a certain market and they share their expertise and help to even value these collectibles. There is a science of sorts in how people “grade” certain collectibles (i.e., mint, excellent, fair etc.) and most of the time condition is paramount. All these elements drive the market and help create a desirability factor for specific products and items.

But, the one element missing from the dictionary definition of “collecting” is the drive and passion that people may have for whatever they collect. So let’s go a few steps further with our definition of “collecting.” Let’s define it as: The art of acquiring items or products that you are specifically passionate about and want to retain, either for monetary gain or personal satisfaction. Let’s explore this definition in detail.

Is there an art to collecting? There certainly is. One must know where to find exactly what it is that they are seeking. Let’s assume you collect vinyl records. Is it best to place an advertisement in a trade publication, local or national newspaper, shop online, or pursue the rummage/garage sale methods? What about going to the “record conventions” that are held in major cities all over the country? Is that the best avenue to pursue? There is an art (some call it a science) to knowing where the best place is to find whatever collectible that you may be looking for.

Furthermore, in the dictionary definitions of collecting, a key term is missing, passion. There is a direct correlation to the drive and motivation a person feels and how successful they may be in acquiring their collectibles. This is a very important element, the enthusiasm a person has, the passion, is what makes whatever they may be collecting, an enjoyable experience. And, obviously the more they put into collecting, the more that they will get in return, not only in monetary terms, but, simply put, the more fun they will have pursuing their hobby.

So next time you shake you’re your head at your spouse, friend or family member and call them a “pack rat,” remember that they are not only passionate about what they are doing; but actually find a great deal of excitement and personal satisfaction in doing what they are doing. It is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable things a person can do.

Author Robert Benson writes about rock/pop music, vinyl record collecting and operates http://www.collectingvinylrecords.com, where you can pick up a copy of his ebook called “The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting.” Visit his shopping site at http://www.ezshoppinghere.com

Find More Collecting Articles

Sharing Your Passion With Hobby Clubs

An ideal way to enjoy your passion with miniatures, dollhouses and other hobbies is to join a club. A hobby club has several benefits. Sometimes our interest in our hobbies starts to drag, we’re not sure why but the hobby loses it’s spark. Joining a club injects new life and interest in your hobby. You’ll meet other people with new ideas. In turn, these new ideas rekindle your own passion. Dozens of clubs on and off line are dedicated to a wide array of hobbies and there’s probably a few just a short distance from where you live. After considering the benefits, you’ll undoubtedly want to find a club near you.

Learn From Others

When you get involved in a miniature club, you learn a great deal of information from more experienced members, many of them who have been involved in the same hobby for many years. They share information you simply can’t find in books. They might have tips or techniques you can use to protect your hobby products or they might suggest a different use for you hobby you may not have thought of before. Your experience counts as well. Don’t be surprised if you tell an “expert” something they’ve never considered before!

Share Your Interests

Joining a hobbyist club will renew your interest in your particular pastime. Discussing it with others who enjoy the same activity might make you feel like you’ve discovered a new hobby! You might even be able to find a project to work on with a few other club members or expand the scope of the projects that you already have in progress.

Finding Hidden Treasures

Some hobby clubs plan field trips and other activities for its members. Viewing the work of others helps members to get a better appreciation of the hobby and what other enthusiasts have created. Some dollhouse clubs plan trips to one of the local miniature museums to enjoy the many dazzling displays. Book clubs might plan a trip to a conference focused on one of the group’s favorite authors to get a deeper appreciation for their work. With a club, there are many more possibilities to enjoy everything about the hobby rather than enjoying it alone.

Validation for Your Hobby

Knowing others have the same hobbies and interests you have makes the activity more enjoyable. Some people might feel that their hobby is strange or odd, but feel better about it once they find others with the same pastime. For some, collecting cookie jars might seem dull or silly, but once you’ve found others who do the same thing, you feel better about your own collection.

Hobby clubs are an ideal for sparking an interest in a new hobby or one that you’ve just been dabbling in. They offer a way for you to share your interests with others of a like mind. Hobby clubs also give members a means to learn from each other with more experience or different techniques. With thousands of hobby clubs scattered across the nation, it’s easy to find one near you.

Learn more about the fascinating world of miniatures. Visit TheMagicalDollhouse.com today for a great selection of dollhouses and dollhouse accessories from top miniature companies.

More Hobby Articles

Woodworking For Fun And Profit Is A Great Hobby

In the event you like operating with your hands, woodworking can be a good hobby for you. It is easy to get started at woodworking. You just want a few easy tools, some hardware, just a little education and some practice. As you progress you can get more woodworking tools, hardware. The more woodworking projects you work on, the much more your expertise will improve. The possibilities of points which you can make woodworking are endless. While woodworking, you can make clocks, chess boards, flag boxes, and toys, among other things.

Woodworking Tools – Some tools you may desire to have for woodworking are table, radial arm, chop or sliding compound miter saws. Along with saws, you could need chisels, planes, rasps, scrapers, clamps and several sorts of jigs for woodworking. These woodworking tools will make your projects accurate. You’ll also need woodworking hardware like hinges, screws and ball bearings.

Acquiring Began With Woodworking – Following you have some woodworking tools, you will have to select some wood for the woodworking project. As soon as you have the tools and also the wood, you are able to get started out along with your initial woodworking project. One particular technique to learn woodworking is to make exactly the same project over and more than until you might be satisfied with all the outcomes. This operates greatest for smaller woodworking projects. For bigger projects, or if you are not a perfectionist, make one particular woodworking project and then move on to your next woodworking task.

Understanding about Woodworking – There are many great methods to discover about woodworking. You will find woodworking videos, woodworking books, woodworking websites and woodworking clubs that may all enable you to get started with woodworking. Woodworking plans are accessible for all sorts of woodworking projects from these sources also as from hobby retailers. Woodworking plans are obtainable for each huge and tiny projects.

Utilizing Woodworking to produce Gifts – Your family and buddies will discover to enjoy receiving gifts from you that made yourself whilst woodworking. Instead of receiving one thing much less individual purchased from a shop, they are going to be receiving some thing into which you place your time, effort and heart. They’ll be capable of cherish these woodworking gifts for years to come. In case you are operating on bigger woodworking projects, your family and friends may commence requesting you to develop them a table, cabinet, breakfront, bed or other woodworking furniture item. The time to obtain started out on a woodworking project is now. Gather the tools, hardware and wood and acquire some plans and know-how.

What you just learned about woodworking 4 home is just the beginning. To get the full story and all the details, check us out at woodworking 4 home review