NostoNews, November 1, 2007
by Tommy Jasmin

The Collector Gene

I think being a collector is genetic. You're either born with it or you're not. I look around at people I know, and some, you just know would never have any interest in collecting anything. But even if you have the collecting gene, environment plays a role. Whether collecting ever manifests can be due to a completely random, low probability event.

If my mom hadn't given me that single Morgan Silver Dollar she saved from her childhood, I doubt I ever would have collected coins. And if I hadn't tagged along with her to Ross Drug Store that day when I was eight years old, and had extra time to mill around the store, who can say if I would have ever bought a comic book? Was the fact that Marvel was entering a new renaissance, and a few covers nearly reached out, grabbed, and shook kids a factor? Probably. In any event, I plunked down 60 hard-earned cents and took home one Conan, one Hulk, and one Spider-Man. I was on my way.

Thinking about the flavors of collectors, there are those who are near-crazed accumulators, going for quantity, wanting to have every variation possible on a given theme. Others, and this is the more financially lucrative variation, go for rarity. Thrill of the chase and all. But the best collectors are driven by their heart, and go after what's cool to them. These guys/gals don't care what other people think, and yet get fired up when they cross paths with someone else who "gets it".

The lucky collectors, over time, gather stuff that is actually collectible. Contrary to popular belief, not everything is. You can collect anything, but by definition a collectible is something where demand far exceeds supply. There's nothing wrong with collecting garbage, it's just sad to see anyone misled into thinking they can trade it for gold. Usually this just works itself out over time. If you collect long enough, you'll probably get burned a few times. As your knowledge grows, that will happen less and less.
Grocery list collection
Somebody's collection of grocery lists

A lot of collectors have a dormant period. For a lot of us, it just wasn't cool to collect anything in high school, and we gave it a rest. Or sometimes it just gets overwhelming, like if you were trying to collect Spider-Man in the 1990's. Or lo and behold a spouse and family come along, and your treasures get boxed up and thrown in a basement or attic. But trust me, there's a good chance you're only in remission, it's genetic.


Don't forget, all you have to do is create a single Collection, Wantlist, or Salelist item during the appropriate month to qualify for our sweepstakes. Why not take a look and see what we're giving away (and gave away last month), free as always.

Thanks, we'll see you all next month.

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