HUNT AND GATHER: The weird and wonderful world of collecting

I have always been fascinated by what people collect and why.

For me, it’s books. It used to be records and books but now it’s just books because both take up a surprising amount of space. Books and records are pretty standard though when it comes to collecting, and so much of me wants to know what people collect, and what makes them compulsively gather objects that come to mean so much to them.

Spoons have always been something I’m particularly confused by. I know it’s a very retro perhaps nowadays a very kitsch thing to collect them, but it was once big – an actual thing. You’d be travelling around, going to this town or that city, and it would be expected that you’d pick up a spoon to commemorate said trip.

My partner collects shot glasses. Like there’s a whole tub of shot glasses sitting in our storage shed and I must admit I am excited for the day that we can actually display them.

It’s not really the objects that matter though is it? I mean, in her case, she can pick up each and every one and tell whoever is (or isn’t) asking, exactly where it came from, how she was feeling at the time, and why that particular shot glass is significant to her.

So maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s not about the objects at all but what we attach to these particular objects that matters. I for one and a sentimental soul and I tend to keep everything. Or should I say, my parents tend to keep everything because I’m a millennial and don’t exactly have the space to put anything.

Speaking of space, I really do feel for those of us who choose to collect cars. I thought books take up space but cars are completely next level. All of those houses and vacant lots just look like the opening to Making A Murder which is a) downright creepy and b) a logistical nightmare, but good on you for following your passion.

So I guess what I’d love to know… what do you collect, and why?

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.