Another thing just not right is the concept of collectibles as
investments. Those who collect for the love of the thing have generally
come out all right over time financially. But those who are all about
the money usually have nothing to show for mucking about in the
market” but capital losses. Plus, they’re a pain to talk
to. All they want to know is “how much is it worth?” They see only
dollar signs while the true collector sees with the eyes of a kid on
Now that I’ve apologized for collecting and needled the non-believers, let me go further by staking a claim for the respectability of collecting.
Collecting tells the truth. Despite the warning of Edmund
Burke (“Those who don't know history are destined to repeat
it”), many of the powers-that-be seem bent on obscuring history.
Whether for profit or other motives, the rich and the poor, liberal and
conservative all seem to feel that history needs a little tweaking to
better present their views.
Collecting helps dig the truth out from
under all the half-remembered and dis-remembered facts of the past.
Collecting shows us things as they actually were. This often
comes as quite a surprise, and sometimes an embarrassment.
collector fills the same essential role in the keeping of history as a
museum or an
archive—all guardians of the truth against the self-interest of those
who would sacrifice genuine progress to their own advantage. If all
sounds a little confusing (not to mention pretentious!), I invite you
to look for illumination in the several examples you’ll find within