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Collecting As A Hobby; Is It Worth It?

Aug 18, 2007
All my life I have been around people who collect things. I am wondering if it is a good thing to do or just a waste of money? You decide:

When I was a kid, I first became aware of my mum's collecting. It felt like she collected a lot. Her main hobby was plants. We always joked that she loved her plants more than us. Sometimes when we were on holiday she would see a plant somewhere that she just had to have in her garden. She would then take a graft, and nurse it until it took. I could never see the value of this collecting of plants . But we did have a beautiful garden. So beautiful, in fact, that it won several awards.

Another thing she collected was recipes and recipe books. She couldn't walk past a recipe book, she had to buy it. She used to make up her own recipe books too, from magazine cuttings. She had piles and piles of magazines where she got these from. Now there was definitely no monetary value in these, unless you count our expanding waistlines. She cooked well, though.

My son, on the other hand, collects games. He has got tons of "magic cards" and he tells me he can sell the collection at a profit. He also collects "Warhammer" figures that he builds armies with to play in a strategy game of the same name. No money in this, I am afraid. But it does keep him busy for hours.

My dad collects wine; Red wine. He has so many bottles, that he built himself a cellar. He has over 5000 bottles in this cellar. He takes them out on special occasions. I think the monetary value in this will be greater than all the previous hobbies I mentioned; especially after the wine has aged a bit.

My grandmother used to collect stamps. My mum sold the collection to someone after she passed away. I can't remember how much she got for it, but the guy who bought it was very pleased.

I have seen many collections apart from that. I met a woman once, who had a fetish for owls. She couldn't walk past an owl ornament, she had to buy it. Her house had owl ornaments all over. There were owls everywhere: In a glass display cupboard. On the glass display cupboard. On the mantelpiece, on the coffee tables, on the side tables, on the bookshelves, just think of a place . There was an owl or five on it.

Then I met another woman, who had the same kind of obsession with shoes. Not real shoes, but ornaments. Her house was also full of shoes. Shoe ornaments everywhere!

A museum in a town I used to live was called the Clock Museum. This museum was started after a guy had given his clock collection to the Town Council. There were clocks of all shapes and sizes. Some clocks were ornamental. Some had moving figurines. Some were old, some were new. A lot of grandfather clocks. Some watches. It was a very interesting place to visit. And amazing to hear all the clocks ticking.

A guy I met online collects everything to do with the sea: From a ship's steering wheel to little porthole mirrors, to nautical lamps. He has a whole house full of them A friend of mine used to collect recorders, and other Baroque instruments. She even had a spinet or two and some lutes. She could play every single one of them.

As for me, I collect books. I have a whole library and I keep adding to it. Every time I walk past all my books I think I should stop buying books. Why can't I just go to the library like everyone else? And then I buy another one.

What do you collect?
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