Check Out My Collection!


Transfixed, Mary stood in the thrift store, gazing at a dimly lit area in the back where many shelves of worn out and pre-owned books lived. Her eyes roamed the titles, and her hand shook as she realized she had finally found the one book she needed to complete her collection of Historical Romances by her favorite author. It wasn’t a best seller or displaying a spine most people would notice. The pages were dog-eared—her pet peeve for books—and the cover looked like it had some coffee stains on it, but otherwise it was in good shape.
After all her time and effort, she had finally found the last piece of her puzzle.
She almost shed a tear when the cashier glanced at it and said, “That’ll be 50 cents, please.” It didn’t sound like much, but to Mary it was priceless.
This is the life of a collector.
Today, people collect all kinds of things. You can find folks passionate about coins, Star Wars characters, stamps, weird shaped potato chips, compact disks, rocks, beanie babies, record albums, dolls, ceramic pigs, back scratchers, memorabilia, jewelry, coffee mugs, baseball cards, garden gnomes, yo-yo’s, belly button lint... basically, anything you can think of can be transformed into someone’s treasured collection.
I know the Pokémon cards my kids gathered as they grew up have some value right now. Maybe one day I’ll be able to retire, if they sell them for a ton of cash.
We also have a collection of those McDonald toys they used to give away with all the Happy Meals. For a time it was a lot of fun, but it got to where every movie that came out had a group of toys associated with it, and we ate so many meals while hunting down which McDonald’s had which toys so I could get the last one.
And of course, as every collector knows, they needed to remain pristine and in the plastic. It’s the “NWT” (New With Tag) that translates into “$$$”. I have a friend who is patiently waiting for the right time to part with her original Princess Diana Beanie Baby. If it was NWT, she’d probably have sold it by now and be living on a Caribbean island.
Part of the appeal is the fun of finding things you like to collect. I have a bunch of albums and a few comic books from when I was young, but that’s about all. I never really got into the craze of getting large collections because I didn’t have the money. I had girlfriends to deal with. Those are expensive enough.
Then the family came along and pretty much eliminated the chances of my continuing any sort of collection.
I know a lot of people collect books. Some like antique books, cookbooks, or vampire books. Favorite authors and series are fun showpieces to line up on your bookshelves. Some series can be 10 books about cowboys, but you need to have every one, otherwise it’s not complete, and your little world is missing a piece.

Read the entire article in the July/August 2022 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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