Are You a Collector?

I think it’s in our nature at some point in life to collect stuff, either things we enjoy or value at that point in life, or frankly, things we just like for no apparent reason to anyone but ourselves.

Based on a completely informal poll of family and friends, there are a lot of different collectors out there. Maybe some of these collections will spark your interest.


I have several uncles who between them have enough record albums to stock a fair-sized store. Both love country music, so most of their collections fall into that genre. One loves the Carter family and knows more about their background than anyone I know. I recently learned that a friend from my college days collects music memorabilia—not surprising, since she worked in the music industry for years.


Now, here’s a broad category of things, like figurines, household items, or fun stuff. I knew a co-worker who collected elephant figurines; her living room cabinet was filled with them (jade ones, pewter, porcelain, etc.). Another work colleague shared that she had a cat collection, from figurines and artwork to kitchenware (as she said, “hundreds of them”). A friend from high school responded to my Facebook question that she collected sharks’ teeth. My daughter loved dolphins when she was young and had quite a varied collection of pillows, prints, and little figurines; I think she gave them all away when she got older. She also had a substantial collection of stuffed animals that she donated to a local hospital years ago.


A family friend has a “copper” collection, and in her words, “a kitchen full.” The older pieces are her favorites. One friend had a collection of plates, specifically dessert plates from her travels. They weren’t the typical souvenir type, most were hand-painted. At one time, her kitchen walls were covered in them.


Dot, a family friend I’ve known since I was in kindergarten, shared that she collects nativity sets. Brenda, a long-time friend from work, has a snowman collection that she displays during the winter. It’s her happy collection. That’s probably true for most collectors; whatever the collection is, it makes them happy.


My son-in-law collects German beer steins. It’s been fun to prowl through antique stores looking for something to add to his collection, and I’ve been lucky to find some marked from places in Germany that I know he’s visited.


Melinda, a professional photographer, is a collector of old cameras. I have an amateur shutterbug cousin who also collects old cameras.


I suppose we all have a friend or family member with some type of sports collection (baseball cards, hats, etc.). Perhaps the collection is functional and something you enjoy, like Andy, who shared that she collects kayaks.

Movies, Books, Memorabilia

My daughter has loved Gone with the Wind ever since I handed her my copy to read years ago (I never got it back, either—it’s now part of her collection). Over the years, she’s added dolls, Hallmark Christmas ornaments, the book in various translations, and so much more. I have several cross-stitch projects to finish for her one of these days (Scarlett in her barbecue dress and the iconic curtain dress).

My collection, if I had to name just one, would be books. I’ve never met a book I didn’t want to read.

Why we collect varies with who we are as individuals. Perhaps the collection reminds us of our childhood, where our roots are, bygone days, interests and hobbies, or, is just a reflection of something that we enjoy. It probably makes gift buying easier for your friends and family if they know about your collection.

Collections come in all sizes. Some may be small, some may consume a room or even a home, depending on the enthusiasm of the collector.

Happy collecting!