Why I Collect

To outsiders, it might appear as if I collect everything under the sun. I might disagree, because though I would like to I hardly have the room. But I do collect a vast array of things of many different genres. I collect action figures, board games, video games, statues, books, knives, lighters, display ships, old computers and computer equipment, containers, notebooks, pens, tools, stamps (the rubber not the letter kind), and a host of other things that happen to interest me when I find them.

I don’t know what it is about me that makes me a collector.  Wanting to preserve history is one of the things. I’ve seen what other people do with items I would consider significant and it’s not pretty. However I do know that I am markedly less interested in preserving some things than others. That is all my preference, and I do hope that those items are being bought and saved by someone who cares, though as I often know with the things I miss, they are not. Still, I buy a lot of things new, and buying things new is not how one preserves history, at least generally, I also open things.  Some people would cringe at the Lego sets I’ve bought on EBay and opened a decade after their release. Or an Atari 2600 game I did something similar with. I don’t believe that things exist to be sealed in boxes and never touched (though some things I created I’ve done that for) but I do think things should be cared for and used appropriately. I have a huge collection of green plastic army men, not because I think my parents bought me more than others, but because I never blew mine up with fire crackers.  Even something as simple and cheap as those plastic men I couldn’t just destroy (side note: why are their tanks still M-60s and Centurions? Shouldn’t they update those to Abrams and Challengers or something?)

I don’t think those people are wrong.  While I might dislike the way the treat their things, they are theirs, and I’d never tell them to not do that unless it was hurting something else. I just have a different mind, a mind suited for collecting things. It’s not that I don’t use things either; I use all of my pens and play all of my games, and have a fun time doing so. And when something wears out I put it aside. I keep it to remind me to get another, to fix it, or to just have it around and maybe recycle. I hate throwing things away. Which makes collecting things so hard. I know of many people who can cycle through collections, either disposing of or selling things that they want less than the things they are about to get. I wish I could do that, but I find that picking up something I haven’t in a while and messing with it is almost as enjoyable as getting something new, and much more cost effective (I still spend way too much on stuff though). Nor can I be like my brother and live with almost no things. I like things too much.  Things are great; I love learning about things, how they work, their history and using them. And I believe that I could meet almost anyone and have something which we could discuss, that is to say my hobbies overlap with the hobbies of most other people in some way (I even go outside sometimes).

I like having a wide array of things to talk about, study, and collect. Part of it likely has to do with the expense, getting into many things is cheap, maintaining interest is sometimes expensive. And so I get into a lot of things. I also enjoy the smaller communities found from a wide variety of things. I don’t interact with them much, and wouldn’t really consider myself a part of them, but I do appreciate them. So I like collecting a lot of things, and just have a colleting-based mind I guess. It’s fun, and though I wish I was more focused at times, I would never have found some things I really love if I hadn’t branched out in my hobbies and collections so much. I hope I can find just as many interesting things in the future.