The Poor Man’s Way of Collecting

Over the past many years of collecting “stuff”, I’ve come to the realization of a number of things. To start off with, there is no way I can collect all the cool stuff that exist. There is too much of it, it would cost too much and it takes up way too much space. So what is a hoarder to do when they’re also a sort of a neat freak? Thank goodness we now live in the digital age. We have those 1TB and greater hard drives a person can purchase for what years ago would seem like next to nothing. So I now have a collection of Andy Warhol paintings, along with Van Gogh. Hundreds of vintage movie posters along with stacks of War era posters and gobs of vintage sheet music. I can look at them anytime I feel like it. No need to travel to Pittsburgh to the Andy Warhol Museum or to Amsterdan to the Van Gogh Museum. Oh and I also have a collection of sculptures from antiquity, cool huh?

WW1 Navy Recruiting poster
An American WW1 poster from 1917.

Granted, 2D items are much easier to collect digitally than 3D items, but I can’t afford a ’65 GTO, so having some photos of one to look at is somewhat comforting. Now with youtube I can rip the videos and save those to my hard drive and watch a ’65 GTO go down the street  without a care in the world about the paint job or even the insurance.

There are a few things that I still physically collect and this digital image collecting has become helpful in that area too believe it or not. I’m finding items out there on the internet that I didn’t even know existed, but now I have it, virtually. The actual item may now be in someone else’s collection, but I now know that there is at least one out there and possibly two. I can be on the hunt for this item, asking other collectors if they have such item or seen such item and where.

Romania Postage Stamp 1964 Olympics Figure Skating
Romania Postage Stamp: 1964 Olympics Figure Skating

Some stuff I’ve stopped collecting physically. Take stamps for an example, my collection is awesomely huge, but worthless. Well, maybe not exactly worthless, it comes in handy as a reference tool. So why download all these images when all one

needs to do is bookmark the page? I’ve found that over time some sites disappear, or even your internet provider goes down for an hour or so and you really need to check some detail at that very same moment. Take the Romanian stamp included in this post which came from Flickr,  downloaded in 2011, will be interesting to see if it’s still there years from now. Now I don’t have to flip through hundreds of pages to find the stamp I’m looking for, I just hit the arrow button on my keyboard and scroll down through images in any given folder. If I wasn’t so busy downloading images all the time I could categorize the images by certain keywords to find them quicker, but who has time to do that?

With all these images and collections out on the internet I can’t help but wonder if the price guide books will slowly fade away? Actually I never really found the price guides of much use for the prices, they’re usually out-dated by the time they’re published anyway. I mainly used them for finding out what cool stuff existed out in the real world. Now I have Google Images for that. Speaking of which, time to peruse my collection of Alphonse Mucha prints.