The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

I have this theory about collections.

They always seem like a great idea at the outset. They are fun and unique and a form of self-expression. And they’re a bit of immortality, too, because if you collect owls, then everyone who knows you will instantly think of you whenever they see anything that’s owl-related.

But over time, collections often take on a life of their own. They take up space. They cost a fortune. You sort of become a slave to your collection. Even if you want to stop accumulating postcards of chimpanzees, for example, people will start sending them to you. That thing you’ve chosen to chain yourself to will be all that you get for Christmas from now until the end of time.

Before you know it, you’re outnumbered. And if you move with any frequency at all, you’ll probably rue the day you started collecting those beer steins. It’s just one more damned crate to pack. Stuff.

I used to collect t-shirts from my travels, but it soon got out of hand. I have more t-shirts than I’ll ever wear. No one will want them when I’m gone. It’s senseless. So I switched over to something cheaper and smaller—refrigerator magnets. They do take up less space. But I may never see the surface of my fridge again.

So if you’re thinking of starting a collection, my advice would be “Run! Run away!” But if you can’t resist, at least choose wisely. Not only will it define you, but it will impoverish you, and bury you under a mountain of… well, let’s just say I hope you pick something light.


If, on the other hand, you collect books, I hope you’ll add this one to your collection!




6 thoughts on “Collecting Stuff

  1. I vote for refrigerator magnets. I love them and they are useful — I use them to hold up photos and small papers such as lists.

  2. lyn says:

    So collecting hard-covered books is out? Actually I do donate them to the local library when I feel I’ve read them enough times. Even so, it’s hard to let some of them go. Know where I can get magnets of books?

    1. I suspect there are magnets of books out there. 🙂 And you can collect anything you want, of course! But if your goal is space, perhaps look into getting a kindle.

  3. lyn sutton says:

    Kindle doesn’t give me the same sensory experience as a book and for these reasons …(see this article :… I enjoy reading a hard copy of your book as well as others. I’ll always make space for real books and any time I see one being defaced or destroyed it pains my soul. I don’t donate them to make space. I do it to share the experience with others and support libraries. I shouldn’t have left off the 🙂 on my previous comment.

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