Over at his Tearoom of Despair blog, Temuka Bob writes about how his collection has become an albatross that stops him doing excited things [like emigrating to the Caribbean!]. In Bob's case, that collection is comics. For other blokes, it might be vinyl or football memorabilia or classic car parts or something else. [Men and the collecting tendency, what's that all about?]
My name is David Bishop and I used to be collector. 'Because I might read it one day. Because I might need it one day.' Those two sentences - never spoken out loud, only in my head - saw me dragging an ever growing collection of longboxes around Britain for years. Why? Because I might enjoy them again one day, or need them for research. It was reassuring to have them at hand, even if they went untouched for years.
But when I finished hrill-Power Overload, my magnificent octopus detailing the secret history of iconic British science fiction comic 2000AD, I purged myself of almost every comic I own. A complete set of Dredd Megazines. A strong run of 2000ADs. Thousands of US comics. All sold or - if nobody would buy them - junked. If I buy or receive any new comics, I enjoy them once - and throw them away.
I do still buy the occasional graphic novel, but that's mostly nostalgia taking command of my wallet. As for monthly comics, I'm down to a single, half-empty longbox which only contains issues retained for sentimental reasons. The first comic I ever shoplifted, an issue of Luke Cage Power Man. My first issue of Cerebus, the heartbreakingly poignant #75. The daffy madness of Prez.
Selling or dumping your collection is a wonderfully liberating freedom. You get space back. Your life is no longer dominated by towering stacks of longboxes. You're not living in the past anymore. If you're not already in a relationship [with some long-suffering partner], no collection means you don't have to be embarrassed when you bring someone new home. Sad fact: you can't take it with you.
So here's my suggestion of the day: consider having a purge. Chuck out all the crap in your life that's holding you back. Throw out the past and embrace the future. Free yourself of your collection. Free your mind - and your ass will follow. Onwards!