Monday, June 21, 2010

The Thrill of The Hunt

I used to be a collector. Be it baseball cards, jazz LPs, matchboxes, comic books, rare books, oil cans, I, at one time or another, had a collection. College and two cross-country moves obliterated my somewhat prized possessions. The purge felt great. It was a weight lifted off my checklist notebooks.

Lately i've been feeling the urge to collect again. Or pick up an old collection. More specifically, i've been looking around for old City Light Pocket Series books. Right now I have about 1/3rd of the entire catalog. Quite impressive, to me at least. It's taken me close to 10 years to find what I have. When i tell people this, they say "Why don't you just buy 'em online?".

Fair enough. I could do that. But where's the fun in that? Buying stuff online isn't collecting, its hoarding. It too easy. No getting dirty or going on road trips or seeking out used book stores or antique shops or flea markets. When I look at my collection, there's a story behind how I found each title. One I found in a dollar bin somewhere in West Virginia. One I found in Gloucester buried in a box of newspapers. It was my birthday. It was a cold early winter afternoon. I was hungry. It was either the book or food (Ended up with both, but for dramatic effect...). For me, its the thrill of the hunt, the chase. Its bartering with dealers and working my mojo. Walking the line between fairness and being ripped off. In most cases, the cost is merely an after-thought (I'm married without children. I can do this).

I suppose the gist of this post is to encourage folks to not be lazy. Don't simply cop out and scour ebay on your off-nights looking for that Frenchman's poetry book. You'll probably end up finding it under a heap of dirty linen in some old grand-ma-ma's basement shop or next to a box of spark plugs at a flea market in west central Ohio.

If you care to, leave a list of what you collect in the comments field! If its book related i'll check our shelves. here be mine:

    City Light Pocket Books
    Rubber Stamps
    Dell Comic Digests from 60's and 70's
    Old comics (western themed or involving radioactive insects)
    Type (both metal and wood)

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