The basic answer to that question is we really don’t have a clue. We’ve all run across people whose lives seem committed to collecting something. It really doesn’t matter what. Whether it be tools, or books, or games, or toys or cars–or even barf bags (unused, of course), there are people out there who are driven to find just one more of whatever it is.
Sometimes they can explain their fascination–in rational terms, that is. For others, the explanations become stretched. But it doesn’t matter–the fascination is there and there is no putting it back from whence it came.
While some cringe when they meet a collector, I think the reasonable thing to do is to explore their world. Try to see the universe through their eyes. In the end, a collector has found a purpose in life, something that drives him or her to get out of bed in the morning or to stretch back and enjoy all their prizes. And that’s a pretty good thing. Perhaps it can serve to inspire others to find something worth dreaming about and making part of their lives.
So “hail” to the collectors out there. Show us what brings joy to your life and inspire us to do something, too.
I know I may swim against the tide in encouraging people to take pride in their collections–but, man, until you have the bug, you just don’t know what you’re missing. I speak from experience. I collect old printing, typesetting and book binding machines. They aren’t light and they can take up a lot of room, but man-o-man, when I retreat to my shop I enter my own world of cast iron and steel friends who allow me to sink down in my office chair and drink in the genius of the people who designed and made these wonders. Out there, my days slip away almost magically.
My wife even wrote a book about collectors and their collections. It has become my best selling children’s book–though, truth be told, it is for anyone of any age who relishes their collection of “things.”
Until later . . .
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