Encyclopedia > Collecting

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Collecting is a hobby consisting of the acquisition of items of a particular category and organizing or displaying them. These collections are often highly organized and carefully cataloged (see collectible).

Some collectors choose to focus on a specific subtopic within their area of general interest, for example 19th Century postage stamps, milk bottle labels from Sussex, or Mongolian harnesses and tack. Others prefer to keep a more general collection, accumulating any or all Star Trek merchandise, or postage stamps from all countries of the world.

Most of the common collecting areas have specialized commercial dealers that trade in the items being collected, as well as in any tools or display mechanisms that collectors use. Many of these dealers started as collectors themselves, then turned their hobby into a profession.

Here are some of the collections often made:

A variety of physically collecting things is collecting experiences of a particular kind, e.g. seeing things such as all vehicles of a particular kind (see trainspotting, aircraft spotting, metrophiles, bus spotting), bird-watching, visiting all countries systematically, swimming across all main rivers, visiting all McDonald's restaurants in a country, etc.

Further reading

  • Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown's Super Book of Things to Do and Collect: Based on the Charles M. Schulz Characters, Random House, 1984, paperback, ISBN 0394831659, hardcover in library binding ISBN 0394931653

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