Are you a collector?


I happened to read an article about a philatelist, who had bought a rare stamp for a whopping amount, to add to his collection.

I don’t remember the amount, but I do remember that my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets!!!

This got me thinking. Why did that philatelist pay so much for that stamp?

I pondered about this for a few days and then realized that it was not about the money as much as it was about the ‘why he collected’.

Then it struck me that we are all collectors. Most people I know collect something. I know friends who collect refrigerator magnets, bookmarks, handbags, watches, and many more.

In my own family, my Dad collected pens. He bought every pen with love and joy. He had many different ones.
After his death, I sobbed my heart out when I saw his collection of pens – because it was one of those important things that defined who he was – it was easy to pick out a gift for him. He was very happy when he received pens as gifts.

My uncle collects shoes – sports shoes, formal shoes, boots, slip-ons; and he cares for each one of them like his own babies.

I know a friend, who doesn’t throw away old perfume bottles.

As for me, I love empty notebooks. I can’t seem to have enough of them with me. I have a whole drawer filled with different types of notebooks. Some made of handmade paper, some with pure creamy pages, some odd-sized and odd-shaped…I can never have enough. Visiting stationery shops is in my list of top 10 things to do!

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    Picture courtesy – http://www.inhabitat.com

So, back to the question. Why do most people collect something, and keep adding to their collection?

I asked myself this. After deep thought I realized that, to me, each time I open a new notebook to the first empty page, I feel hope and the thrill of writing. I want to fill these notebooks with writing – not necessarily fiction or stories, but even mundane things like ‘things to do’, ‘shopping lists’, ‘song lyrics’ and of course the book that I eventually want to write. These small notebooks fill me with joy.

I have seen the same joy in my Dad’s eyes when he searched for new pens to add to his collection. I see it in my son’s eyes when he collects fact books on animals.

The things we collect give us great happiness, from stamps to bookmarks to magnets to plants to coffee mugs to shoes to very expensive pieces of art, they give us repeated pleasure and happiness. To some extent, they define who we are! It is not about the money at all.

So, what do you collect and what does it mean to you? Would love to know.