The word "collector" has always left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. When I think of a collector, I in-vision a room filled with mountains of Beenie Babies toppling over, with the tags protected by clear plastic to keep them in "mint" condition. I think of an episode of Hoarders I once watched, where a man had to build a separate building to house his immense beer can collection. I think of doll collectors, who's entire homes are filled with dolls that can not be touched or played with, each standing at attention on their metal doll stands. I think of people spending huge amounts of money to buy items that are only of value to them. Needless to say, I have never wanted to call myself a collector.
About a year ago, a friend was asking me what kind of things I buy at estate sales. I began telling him several different items that I look for. "I collect paper dolls," I told him. ..."and old keys, and bottles, and quilts, and old books, and tin toys, and fisher price toys, and thimbles, and buttons, and...." the list went on and on. I suddenly made a giant realization, "I'M A COLLECTOR!!!" And a collector of the worst kind, one who collects EVERYTHING, even dolls!!
After my discovery, I began thinking a lot about collections, and why people collect. I recently read an article about why people collect. (http://www.horizonlines.org/volume4/about/why/index.html) In the article it states one reason is that, "Collecting, like most passions, has the capacity to let (the collector) live in another world for a while." I liked that explanation. When I pick up a children's book from 1940, I am immediately transcended to another time. A simpler time. A time before technology ruled our world. I time when kids played outside all day. A time when being a homemaker was a glamourous occupation. A time when people knew how to work hard and sacrifice.
There are many different reasons people collect. But one thing is certain, there are a lot of us out there. I would love to see what others collect, what brings them that little bit of joy in the acquisition. If you have a collection you would like to share, email me pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll post them here.
Here are a few of my own collections: