activity of seeking out and acquiring items of interest

The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining items are of interest to the individual collector.


  • The danger is that we shall become a nation of pedants. I use the word literally and democratically to refer to the millions of people who are moved by a certain kind of passion in their pastimes as well as in their vocations. In both parts of their lives this passion comes out in shoptalk. I have in mind both the bird watchers and nature lovers: the young people who collect records and follow the lives of pop singers and movie stars; I mean the sort of knowledge possessed by “buffs” and “fans” of all species—the baseball addicts and opera goers, the devotees of railroad trains and the collectors of objects, from first editions to netsuke.

    They are pedants not just because they know and recite an enormous quantity of facts—if a school required them to learn as much they would scream against tyranny. It is not the extent of their information that appalls; it is the absence of any reflection upon it, any sense of relation between it and them and the world. Nothing is brought in from outside for contrast or comparison; no perspective is gained from the top of their monstrous factual pile; no generalities emerge to lighten the sameness of their endeavor.

  • My dear Irene, there are two sorts of collectors. One is satisfied by simply owning the treasured item and doesn't care whether or not the rest of the world knows. But the other sort—they absolutely have to brag about their possessions. For them, half the pleasure comes from the thought of acquaintances gnawing their guts out with envy. Even if it increases the risk of theft, they can't help themselves.
  • Specialist dealers wanted low wholesale, basically, so they could whip the big markup to collectors. If you were a collector, Fontaine figured, specialist dealers were nature’s way of telling you you had too much money to begin with.
  • Something in his mind had snapped and he began collecting comics.
    • Mel Gilden, The Pumpkins of Time (1994), p. 4

See also

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