The Metafilter Collective November 22, 2015 4:14 PM   Subscribe

A recent discussion about Christmas Villages and other collectibles prompts me to ask: What other sizeable collections of stuff lie in the hands of mefites? Share your pictures, anecdotes, obsessions and triumphs here!
posted by Omnomnom to MetaFilter-Related at 4:14 PM (163 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

I have a steadily growing collection of bottlecaps with which I'm Totally Going To Do An Art Project One Of These Days. At one point I was considering trying to make a bottlecap portrait of Captain Picard. Might still happen.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:17 PM on November 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Manual typewriters. I have 15, dating from about 1930 to about 1978.
posted by JanetLand at 4:31 PM on November 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


As a child, I collected soap from hotels. When I tallied up the collections size before consigning it to the void, I had about 370 or so.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:32 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I guess along the lines of Christmas Villages, what I have is a pretty large box of plastic insects and army men, plastic tanks, and so on that I intended long ago to combine with Tom Moldvay's Dino Wars! rules from this issue of Dragon magazine [PDF] to run a miniature version of Them!, Tarantula, etc. Never happened, but I'm sure it will some day. (I did get to play Dino Wars! at a convention once though.)
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:47 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Uh, plastic animals. A few hundred of which will soon appear in my annual holiday display at work. I've also been collecting bookmarks since the early 1980s and have many thousands of them.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:54 PM on November 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have some books.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:03 PM on November 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


I recently held onto a large collection of Mold-A-Rama figurines for somebody who was between homes. They were pretty neat.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:06 PM on November 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I used to have 600+ National Geographic pullout maps but I have pared them down in recent years. Weren't doing any good sitting in a box so I've been giving them away to anyone who comes to our home (whenever I remember to, anyway).
posted by everybody had matching towels at 5:09 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a collection of vintage advertising cookbooks from appliance manufacturers and food companies from the teens until the 1970s. Spry lard cookbooks are my favorites. I try to stop, but they keep pulling me in. I also have a bit of a Disney's Haunted Mansion collection. And if anyone has the children's book from 1970, I will pay real money.
posted by Sophie1 at 5:12 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know how many t-shirts I have, exactly, but it's... A lot. Wild guess- 700 or 800.

Here's a gallery of Texas Caver's Reunion shirts - I printed all of them from the 15th annual up to the present. (The gallery is a couple years old now & doesnt have the last 2 but I'm still doing them)
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:40 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have a bad habit of buying vintage camera lenses off of Ebay but I'm only up to seven or eight by now.
posted by octothorpe at 5:43 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Digital data. When I come across a picture or video or article that I like, I save a copy, because bookmarked links will inevitably rot. And then there's all the e-books, MP3s, pirated legally downloaded and DRM-ed movies, hard-to-find software, datasets... There's literally a stack of four terabyte hard drives next to my laptop. (But only three USB ports, so I have to shuffle them around sometimes.)

It doesn't help that I'm also paranoid about drive failure, so I use some of them to back up the others. (Plus off-site backups of the least replaceable data, of course.)
posted by Rangi at 5:45 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


thomas j wise, how many of those books are terrible religious fiction? your reviews of those books I have enjoyed for years. I had no idea that was you! That is what I get for never clicking through to profiles.
posted by winna at 5:46 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I went through a phase of buying fancy pens in the mid-90s; finally got around to gifting them away (to other mefites!)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:49 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


(We're talkin' Pelikan, Cross, Lamy, Sheaffer, Watermans, and the like.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:51 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Digital data.

Yeah, 23,000 .mp3 files more or less, counts as a "collection," I suppose.

I also have a drawer full of hard drives too old/small to use, but that still function. 15 or 20? Let us not discuss the cables.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:52 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Vintage magazines dating from 1876-1999. Eight Rubbermaid tubs of various sizes, and counting. I seriously don't have room for any more, but now people have started giving them to me and how can I say no?

I started a Tumblr this summer to share my favorite images and ads. For reasons I can't explain*, a Gap ad from 1994 is the most popular, with 37,000+ likes and reblogs. (*My daughter says "normcore + Millennial nostalgia")
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:52 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have about 5000 baseball cards, mostly from about 1975 through the early 80s.
posted by COD at 5:52 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Back when the Internet was smaller, I put out a general request on my website for people to send me the 42nd page of their phone book.I then scanned all these pages and put photos of them on my website.

I got... a lot.
posted by meese at 5:56 PM on November 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


bottlecap portrait of Captain Picard

Make It Soda
posted by lucidium at 6:01 PM on November 22, 2015 [32 favorites]


I'm lousy at having stuff. Or really good, depending on your perspective. I have more yarn than I'll ever knit, and I have so much nail polish that I'm embarrassed to count it. I haven't done my nails regularly in two years, and I kinda want to get rid of it... but it's such cool nail polish, you know? And I have a tendency to get bored of a thing and destash, only to come back to it a while later. I think I get into embroidery once every three years.

I have a lot less stuff than I used to (my very first AskMe, eight years ago, was about how much stuff I had), and I'm smarter about it and accumulate it less quickly, but it's still so damn much. I sometimes daydream about abandoning my apartment and all the stuff in it, and starting over in a new place with next to nothing.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:02 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have a growing collection of pre-X-Files mass market paperback UFO books.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:11 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a collection, though nowhere near the size that some folks have [even on metafilter I'm sure], of vintage fountain pens that I'm slowly repairing and trying out. Some Parkers, Sheaffers, Watermans and some other less known names.

I'm a bit short of the modern flavors, though I did gift a Lamy Safari to the brother in law for Christmas a few years ago, so, yea joseph conrad is fully awesome, you're welcome to send me something newer than the 1970s and I'd give it a good home.

Besides that I collect the odd digital download or two and I'm also harboring a collection of beer bottles, including some old bar and pony style bottles, that I use in homebrewing, well I did anyway the last time I brewed 5 years ago... *sigh*. Kitchen Aid mixer attachments? I have a plethora of those but only the ones that actually do stuff, no vintage or collector ones by any means.

Outside of that.. hopes and dreams.. I have lots of those those nowadays, maybe some of them will start happening in the next year or two. I hope...
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:14 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have so many vinyl records that two years ago I decided to open a store. I instagram'd almost 14K of them at my previous location and today passed 1100 at a location I opened 2 weeks ago.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:20 PM on November 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


I have some amazing rotary phones and cased glass lampshades from the 1960's that I started collecting back when you could get them for next to nothing on ebay, but now the kinds I like are $$$$ so I had to stop.

I also have a lot of shoes, but I'm not sure if it's a collection so much as a sickness.
posted by Mchelly at 6:38 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have about 20 feet (measured by spine, standing together) of cookbooks (plus about 50 or so of those church/junior league/family reunion spiral bound recipe collections from all over the US). I've been ordered to stop until we get more bookshelves built.

I have seven vintage sewing machine cabinets from the 20s and 30s, all with working sewing machines.

I have an embarrassing amount of buttons. I really like buttons. If anyone has any buttons they don't want, I can provide them a good and loving home.
posted by cooker girl at 6:41 PM on November 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


I have way too many books. And it just occurred to me that if i call it a collection, then there aren't too many! So yeah, I collect books. There's no real theme other than "Stuff I'm going to get around to reading one day, I swear."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:42 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Does collecting sins count?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 PM on November 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I collect 19th-century/early-20th-century children's books. Within that collection is a subcollection of books that were given as school or church prizes. I also collect pose dolls from the 1950s - 70s.
posted by atropos at 7:16 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, and vintage postcards!
posted by atropos at 7:16 PM on November 22, 2015


Aw geez. Let's see. . . I collect lots, but in the Christmas village spirit of what's caused conflict with loved ones, these:

I save all my accidental pictures from the year - fingers, my leg, the ground, my pocket, etc. - and give them to my family and friends in an elaborate photo album for Xmas. *giggle*

Sextants and compasses, so far about 20.

Over 500 bottles of water from various rivers, oceans, and seas. Most disappointing get: confluence of the Platte and Missouri, which was not cool at all. Most fun: Colorado River source. Most troublesome: Snake River source. Most triumphant and coolest: Arctic Ocean/Amazon mouth. Nearly got arrested: Danube, tiny creek in Utah. Poison oak sent me to the hospital: Red River (TX). Almost died getting: Baltic and Red River (Louisiana). On serious wish list: Volga, Ganges, & Yellow Rivers, and ocean water from the two Capes.

A huge fossil and rock collection, but the ones I make serious effort to collect are evaporites. I have samples from salt glaciers, salt formations, and salt deposits from all over the world. My rocks have caused multiple problems in airports & customs, but the "best" was when I once held up an entire plane because they thought the fossil tree trunk in my suitcase was a bomb.

One of my experience collections is to hike 1000 unique (as in, I've not done before) miles each in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. I've gotten Wyoming; Colorado's at ~600, and Utah is a paltry 350. I'm also obsessed with backpacking in each one of Wyoming's and Colorado's mountain ranges. It's been a surprisingly difficult task, as there's not a definitive definition of what a mountain range is (there's lots of discipline specific definitions) and what the mountain ranges in those states are.

I take a picture of every mountain pass I cross.

I have a few other collections, both experiences and material, but let's be real - my pride and joy are books, which I'll happily brag about. We've got shelves all over the house, here's just the shelves in our bedroom, ~ 1/5th-ish of our collection maybe.
posted by barchan at 7:33 PM on November 22, 2015 [18 favorites]


Dazey butter churns for me, plus a few wooden ones.
posted by Melismata at 7:35 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'll add myself to the book collector club! Within that collection is another collection of unique ABC books. The oldest and most favorite one is one of the few books my dad had as a child, copyright 1936.
posted by bookmammal at 7:35 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Quilts - a LOT of quilts. Vintage tablecloths and embroidered pillowcases. I have a thing for antique linens - the smell is differently but equally as evocative as old books.
posted by ersatzkat at 7:42 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Toeing the line between obtaining tools for regular use and amassing a collection for its own sake, I have accumulated some Japanese kitchen knives. Here is most of the gang so far.
posted by there's no crying in espionage at 8:01 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Polaroid Cameras, Evangelical Remixes of Pop Culture, American and Canadian Hymn books from 1950 to 1980 or so, Church resources on Homosexuality from about the same time
posted by PinkMoose at 8:02 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


When my less-friendly grandmother passed away, she left me a Chinese mini-bar coincidentally filled with roughly sixty years of mongrammed, personalized and/or thematic cocktail napkins (also some place cards, calling cards and invitations). I literally have a napkin for every season, every event, every drinking holiday and I haven't the foggiest idea what to do with them.
posted by thivaia at 8:19 PM on November 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


I bet I would speak for no small number of MeFites if I were to ask, "How many musical instruments and/or accessories/accoutrements/ancillary pieces of gear does it take to make a "Collection"? And do they all have to actually be functional right at this minute?"

Because I've either got a collection or just a bunch of noise-making crap.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:20 PM on November 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Folk art beavers.
posted by carmicha at 8:37 PM on November 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Push puppets - it's not a huge collection (40 or so - wood type, not plastic) but I love them.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:39 PM on November 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh, also knives, spikes, axes. For throwing at targets.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:41 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a large collection of vintage (1930s-1960s) "career fiction" for teen girls, which are awesome books that used the guise of a teen romance to teach girls what it would be like to be an author's agent, a magazine editor, a photographer, a retail store buyer, etc, etc, etc. They are pretty awesome with some great covers and some amazing career choices.
posted by OolooKitty at 8:48 PM on November 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yarn, books...nail polish. Like shameful amounts of nail polish even after two full on purges. And my collection of tiny beads and gems to stick on my nails after painting them is starting to get out of hand. It's a little absurd.

Also for a brief period of time in the late 90's I was obsessed with souvenir flat pennies.
posted by angeline at 9:11 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Carved wooden boxes, vaseline glass (the green glass with uranium in it that glows under black lighting), concrete pelicans, empty bird nests, and Nolan Ryan baseball cards.

I'm sure there's some sort of hidden pattern to my collections that identifies me as a psycopath, because I also love bitter food although I don't collect it. Yet.
posted by the webmistress at 9:19 PM on November 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


My partner and I decided to start collecting nativity scenes about 5 years ago, and now we don't so much collect them as we get gifted them by our mothers and other actually religious family members. We have a few neat ones, but mostly was just have so many of them that we've lost count. It's a delight, and if we finally find a way to display them all this year, I'll be sure to post a picture.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:32 PM on November 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


I've got a complete run of Popular Mechanics from 1946 to ~1978. Plus a couple dozen between 1932 and 1946. And most of the Mechanix Illustrated and a few similar publications from the same time period. It was pretty amazing when I first started researching teardrop trailers to realize I had the primary source material for some of the oldest published DIY trailers sitting on my shelf.

I also have a working collection of vintage hand planes.
posted by Mitheral at 10:03 PM on November 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have collected around 250 bottles of whisky, mostly Scotch single malt. At the heart of the collection are 5 unopened bottles of Port Charlotte PC5. I keep tabs on any science news related to my personal life expectancy so I can calculate the spacing of the opening of these 5 bottles such that I'll be cracking the last one at the very end of my life.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:44 PM on November 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Playing cards. Probably have a couple hundred or so decks; pretty much all different. Buy them from kickstarter (i'm stopping now, i have enough, i swear - until next binge).

I used to collect telephones ('30s-70's). A word to the wise; avoid collecting things that have bulk. At one point when my phone rang, 25 phones around the house would chime in unison. Old art deco bakelite phone's are the best (I still have a couple around).
posted by el io at 11:45 PM on November 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


At its largest, my beer bottle collection reached ~300, all from beer I had consumed, thought was really good, and liked the label. We moved, and there was no way I was moving that many bottles, so it got whittled down to 150 or so, but we don't have a place to display those, so most are probably going to end up getting given away to home-brewers.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:08 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I didn't include craft supplies cause that's just madness, y'all. I guess nail polish is something I collect but I don't consider a collection since it's a thing I use. Now, I realize that just because I use it that doesn't necessarily mean I need those 300+ bottles but it's sparkly, yo.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:11 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


In an apartment as small as ours, the collection of musical instruments my partner and I have accrued over the years feels pretty sizable. It's mostly small things, since the bigger ones tend to be too expensive. Numerically, the biggest part of the collection is different kinds of flutes/whistles/reed pipes from around the world (which I never play because our neighbors would hate me). I think there's only a couple dozen instruments in all, but like I said, there's an upper bound on what we can keep here.
posted by teponaztli at 12:29 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Aside from the New Yorker and Harper's, I still have most of the magazines I've ever owned.
posted by rhizome at 12:36 AM on November 23, 2015


Stamps...thousands and thousands, mostly US.... a collection started by my father when he was a boy (100 years ago), continued by my sister for a short period, finally in my hands when I was about 10. Catalogued, in protective sleeves, in Scott books....value has been determined... Sadly, they now sit on a bookshelf and are seldom looked at...
posted by HuronBob at 3:59 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have ~30 of the ~60 Chalet School books across a bunch of different formats and printings (whatever was cheap on eBay or through Amazon resellers).

We moved recently and my dude did a lot of the unpacking, meaning we now have a small bookshelf dedicated solely to the Chalet School and Proust, which is hilarious.

My original plan was to try and catch them all, but paperback reprints have been inconsistent (some titles haven't been reprinted at all, others have but out of order, etc.), meaning some of the books are absurdly expensive now. And, honestly, the series kind of turned into repetitive fan fiction of itself by the low 20s, so I doubt the next thirty are going to redeem things for me.
posted by terretu at 4:31 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


thomas j wise, how many of those books are terrible religious fiction? your reviews of those books I have enjoyed for years. I had no idea that was you! That is what I get for never clicking through to profiles.

Hmmm. A few hundred, I would think. (Thanks!)
posted by thomas j wise at 4:40 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Books. A lot of books ~9000 hard copy with my personal subsets of cookbooks/cookery history, science fiction and design. If you include ebooks, then ~18,000 (though it is a chunk that could be pared down). Data file hoarding include more than 50,000 MP3 and MP4s. Heck, I still have the CDs and DVDs! At one point, I was trying to collect religious action figures which I could pose in "smite mode" but gave those away. There is other insane bric a brac and things I never thought we're collecting per se, just accumulation with no cataloging.
posted by jadepearl at 4:48 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I own several hundred vacuum tubes which will probably never be installed in an electronic device. Although I did use the 01A to build a regenerative radio receiver from plans from a 30's era copy of Boy's Life a few years ago.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:03 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a small but significant collection of Omaha historical collectables, including a three dollar scrip issued by our first mayor Jesse Lowe that the city declared worthless a few years later, plates and cups from Johnny Carson's Omaha restaurant, a Christian comic book retelling the story of city founder Edward Creighton, and a signed book by kidnapper Pat Crowe.
posted by maxsparber at 5:08 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a whole lot of stoneware. It's Dutch, pastel coloured, and from the '50s or early '60s. I also have the kitchen to go with it, which I hope we will be able to install in the coming year, or the year after that. And I have around 28 Melitta coffee pots, the kind that have a ceramic filter holder on top. I have a lot of things from that period, period.

Oh and plastic souvenir pens with a floating picture inside. Like this one.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:11 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't really collect anything (unless you count two entire drawers full of old computer cables, kept "just in case" and once in a great while actually useful), so these stories are fascinating to read. We used to have a lot of books but sold most before our last move, so we are down to just one large bookshelf.

I am in danger of running out of wall space for art, though, at least without it feeling cluttered or starting to rotate pieces. I don't really think of that as a collection per se since there is not any real financial value nor a clear thematic connection beyond "art that I like," but maybe it should count?
posted by Dip Flash at 5:22 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not a big collector, so most of what's lying around the house is there by happenstance. Through no fault of my own, I've been the caretaker of the family's Lionel train set for the past several years. Both of my parents' brothers independently amassed their own sets, and then around the time my brother and I were born they were sent to my family on "permanent loan". Now that we're grown up and out of the house (and my parents have downsized), I've become the trustee for the collection.

There's no real rhyme or reason to what we have, and a lot of it's in pretty poor shape. However, the vast majority is from the 1950s or so, back when it was all still primarily built out of heavy cast iron and steel. There's more track and rolling stock than I could ever possibly fit in a layout in any home we could conceivably afford, but I try to set something up around the holidays. There are a few train nut guys in this new department I've been working with, so I need to actually catalogue everything and see if they're interested in helping me with repairs.

My father is a big collector of antique clocks, and we grew up in a house with maybe 50-100 on the walls at any given time, most of them in working order. It was absolutely cacophonous at the top of the hour, but you get used to it and it always struck me as weird how guests would point out the noise. You mean your house doesn't have a ten minute window where it's basically impossible to hold a conversation because one thing or another is bonging in your ears?
posted by backseatpilot at 5:25 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have an embarrassing number of tabletop roleplaying games. And among my friends, I have the small collection.
posted by magstheaxe at 5:53 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have an embarrassing number of tabletop roleplaying games. And among my friends, I have the small collection.

One of the first things I learned about my wife when we started dating was that her greatest hope was that someday she would have enough boardgames that she could have a full dedicated bookshelf for them all. Of course, for the first of her birthdays that I spent with her, I bought her a boardgame, helping the dream inch closer to reality.

This fall, we moved into a new place, and set aside one bookshelf just for games. It's not full to total capacity yet, but I believe it's full enough to say the hope has been fulfilled.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:14 AM on November 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am very much in the "collections are clutter" camp, but I have an embarrassing secret hidden in my basement. I have about 150 Harlequin romance novels from the 1950s and 1960s - book numbers between 1 and 1000. Unfortunately, I don't have any of the really early, pulp-y "Lady Killer" type Harlequins...just the typical romancey ones. I started collecting the ones with nurses on the covers and it kind of took off. I've been thinking about doing an art project with them for years, but haven't come up with anything yet.

I collected them when I worked at a used bookstore that specialized in romance novels whilst getting my MLIS. As an employee, I got 80% off of the cover price of the books. Most of these novels originally cost about 50 cents, so I got them each for a dime. I would only buy the duplicates - never take the only copy in the store. I tried reading one of them once. It was interesting but kind of agonizing. The casual racism and disregard for things like plot and believable dialogue made me cringe.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:37 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Books, let's talk.
posted by clavdivs at 6:39 AM on November 23, 2015


We do have approximately 90 boxes of books stacked on shelves in the garage waiting for enough bookcases in the house to unpack them. We moved here in '07 and haven't manged to get the book cases built yet.
posted by octothorpe at 6:41 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I recently discovered that my heart's desire is to be a toy designer so I collect mint condition editions of toys I had as a child along with certain Ever After High/Monster High dolls. I also have over 100 "the art of..." books which detail the visual development of individual animated movies and the occasional video game or TV series. Both collections act as talismans of sorts in helping me focus on my career goals, which is very helpful as I am still trying to solidify who I want to be when I grow up.
posted by Hermione Granger at 6:44 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Does my massive yarn stash count?
posted by pxe2000 at 6:53 AM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have definitely reached SABLE - Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. I have at least 3 large plastic bins full and about 5 Ikea "cubes" full of yarn.

When I first started out I was quite diligent in only buying yarn specific to a project. But then you're at a yarn store and you touch Manos del Uruguay for the first time and you're like "I NEED THIS NEAR ME ALWAYS" or you first learn about variegated yarn and you're like "OHHHHHHH PRETTTYYYYYY" and before you know it you're in a foreign country and somehow you end up in a yarn shop (it's like you have a weird secret radar?) and you're buying "souvenir" balls of yarn. I'm sure a few fellow knitters on Metafilter can relate.
posted by like_neon at 6:58 AM on November 23, 2015 [18 favorites]


hahahaha pxe2000!!
posted by like_neon at 6:58 AM on November 23, 2015


I have a bunch of old toasters - the ones that load from the side, like in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. We display them in the kitchen.

I also have typewriters, but those are up in the attic.

We also have every single episode of MST3K (except for the KTMA ones).
posted by Lucinda at 7:01 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


If we are talking about books, after two or three severe culls and two interprovincial moves,and half a dozen wihtin city moves, in the last five years, i still have 20 bankers boxers i need to get from montreal to TO
posted by PinkMoose at 7:03 AM on November 23, 2015


Oh, and nail polish here too. By my last count at least 75 bottles. Not that much for some real nail addicts out there, but definitely outside the spectrum for a normal human. Doing a search for "yarn" in this thread seems to show a strong correlation between the two - I guess it makes sense, both being drawn to the finer details of color and texture. However, ironically I find knitting is one of the things I have to stay away from if I have a fresh mani as it's a sure fire way to ruin that index finger.
posted by like_neon at 7:05 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aside from the New Yorker and Harper's, I still have most of the magazines I've ever owned.

My God, if I did that, I'd need a 20-room mansion.
posted by Melismata at 7:13 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a collection of plastic shopping bags (probably hundreds) from the 1980s-1990s. Most from mall stores in n America, but some from round the world. Actually many of the stores probably don't exist today (i.e. smaller record and book stores) and it probably would be neat to look through them again, I haven't in years. The problem is, other than framing a few favourites, I can never think of what to do them/how to display them.
posted by fourpotatoes at 7:45 AM on November 23, 2015


Yeah, 23,000 .mp3 files more or less, counts as a "collection," I suppose.

A starter kit, maybe. (93,000 here) ;)
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Magic:the Gathering cards. DH and I started playing a couple years ago and have been collecting cards ever since. It's really just part of the hobby, since you buy cards to play with or you win packs and open them.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:21 AM on November 23, 2015


I have a just over 250 snow globes but since I downsized they've been taking up valuable closet space. It took me a long time but I'm ready to get rid of them and I'll eventually post a question to the green asking for advice on how to do this. (A bunch were destroyed during the Northridge earthquake but I kept anything semi-intact which is why there are broken snow globes in the collection.)

psst...Corbin Berson, MeMail me.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:30 AM on November 23, 2015


I collect books too, but I was "internet famous" for about a week after I scanned the covers of part of that collection, the mid-century children's books, and posted them to my flickr account. There was even a post about it here on MetaFilter. I'm afraid I have to admit that a good portion of those were sold recently when I found a new job and we moved. We have a much smaller house now and I couldn't justify keeping all of them. I still have about 200 of my personal favorites, just not all 500 or so. I also have a library of about 1,000 "regular" books.
posted by Toekneesan at 8:50 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Note to the book loons above: if you want to thin out your collections, my store* (the Strand in NYC) is always buying, and I'll buy you a drink afterwards.

*I work there, I don't own it.
posted by jonmc at 8:57 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


*gasp* SELL MY BOOKS HOW DARE YOU

the only reason I would ever go to your store now good sir would be slap you with an OED

and buy more books
posted by barchan at 9:04 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


I collect half-finished projects.
posted by bondcliff at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


I have so much nail polish that I actually hide it from guests because it's embarrassing. I occasionally try to sneak one into people's purses. The stupidest part is that I don't even like manicures because I chip them within six minutes or so.

I also have about 150 Tarot decks, one of which no one is allowed to touch because it's out of print and I love it, so it sits in a velvet bag in the dresser doing me no good whatsoever.
posted by holborne at 9:26 AM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


vinyl records. i have too many. i keep telling myself "ok, you're definitely not going to fill this bookshelf with records, this is the only bookshelf you can have full of records, no more bookshelves of records" and then like a year later "ok, you're definitely not going to fill THIS bookshelf with records. this and the other bookshelf are the only ones you can have full of records, no more bookshelves of records" annnnnd repeat forever until i die and my imaginary children are tasked with the unenviable responsibility of figuring out what to do with crazy mom's record collection.
posted by kerning at 9:55 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have several thousand tabletop roleplaying miniatures. I haven't used them in years, because I mostly play via Hangouts these days, but I keep right on buying them.

My girlfriend has been very patient with me about this.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:04 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


First editions of modern (post war) US literature, although I do have some Canadian works in there. This photo was taken a few years ago, after a culling. (Also doesn't show all the bookshelves, just the wall o' books). Here are some more bookcases, pretty but not as functional as I really need. The bookcase on the back wall is all Vietnam war lit, making up about 10% of the collection.

Also, kind of inadvertently, eraser animals. I've got a couple hundred of the little buggers.
posted by janey47 at 10:11 AM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


Vintage sewing machines. Mostly Singer. Only about 10 of them because I did get rid of the crappy Touch & Sews.
Quilting cotton fabrics. Quite a bit. Someday maybe I'll be good enough at sewing to use the prettiest ones.
Yarn. Quite a lot of ugly thrift store yarn. I'd have to go buy yarn if I wanted to make something nice.
Postcards. A couple of hundred by a local maker, Stella Marrs. And other postcards. So many postcards. Seriously, MeMail me your address if you'd like a postcard in the mail!

At this point I am trying very hard not to add to any of this. Unless I find a 411G or a 431G, or an awesome treadle, or an original handcrank. Or a complete Davis/National two-spool.
posted by monopas at 10:15 AM on November 23, 2015


Oh dear, I may have just bought another typewriter.
posted by JanetLand at 10:38 AM on November 23, 2015


I have a collection of railroad hardware. I have track, plates, spikes, screw-spikes, ties, fish plates, and the like. I could build a 8 foot branch line with the stuff I have. I have a lot of bolts, including some that are 1 1/4 inch diameter and 18 inches long. I have switch parts. I have a coupler. I have freight car suspension springs. I have several hundred feet of telegraph wire.

Why do I have these things? I live next to the railroad. At intervals they come and upgrade the track and switches. There was a derailment. I got some good stuff from that.

What am I going to do with this? Track makes good weights, when something needs to be weighted. Suspension springs are decorative. Track is also good as an anvil. Ties make good pathways and a massive compost pile.

Who am I kidding? This is junk and I am a junk man. I try to hide the stuff out back, so it is not too ugly. I recently found out that scrap yards will not accept railroad track. Plus, some of the items I collected 15 years ago are to heavy for me to lift now that I am older.

My only hope is to find a hobby welder who wants a ton of scrap metal.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 10:38 AM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


janey47, I would love to curl up in your room for an hour or five and read.
posted by barchan at 10:51 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


My collection is mostly unsorted, but there are a lot of cat tchotchkes, Moomins, and cable car knickknacks. I hope the secret quonsars of everyone in the post are getting some good ideas.
posted by vickyverky at 10:52 AM on November 23, 2015


I have (at least) one copy of every book written by Jessamyn West (the other one, and me), Donald Barthelme, and Richard Brautigan. I have a coin collection that I take out and look at. It's stuff my dad used to collect when he was traveling in the 60s combined with stuff I collected when I was traveling in the 90s plus random stuff. I have a lot (a collection? maybe not) of old stamps that I put on envelopes. I also have every laptop I've ever owned but that's not a collection as much as a bunch of stuff I didn't get rid of.

My only hope is to find a hobby welder who wants a ton of scrap metal

I wish I lived closer!

When i was at VT ComicCon I met the folks from gemr which is a funny online community for collectors, in case it hits a nerve with anyone. They seemed like nice folks.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:57 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Nolan Ryan baseball cards

Serious envy here.
posted by jgirl at 11:14 AM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't call myself a record collector because I only have a few thousand and there isn't a huge focus. In that vein I will say I collect Billy Childish/Medway garage punk records, which is a never ending quest and makes up a considerable chunk of my collection.

I also kind of have a collection of California pottery (Bauer, US Pottery, etc) that I pick up from flea markets. It's only like 20 pots, so it's not really a collection but a theme throughout my house.
posted by kendrak at 11:17 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


barchan, you are welcome to do so! There are three cats to snuggle with, as well, which makes for the perfect reading environment, especially when the weather is cool.
posted by janey47 at 11:25 AM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a bunch of records, which may or may not amount to a collection. I very much do collect LPs issued by the Library of Congress and 10" records in general but particularly those issued by Folkways.
posted by OmieWise at 11:26 AM on November 23, 2015


Midnight Skulker: " I recently found out that scrap yards will not accept railroad track"

When I've had this sort of problem I've solved it by tossing it into the scrap bin at an automotive shop (many have bins for things like brake drums/discs, suspension parts and exhaust piping). Shops are happy for the weight and the scrap recyclers don't examine the bins closely.
posted by Mitheral at 11:30 AM on November 23, 2015


Can I just say how glad I am that this thread came up today? I am very embarrassed by how much I enjoy collecting stuff and seeing that everyone else loves and covets certain things makes me feel very normal and happy.
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:02 PM on November 23, 2015


I have a very small (recently-started) collection of polished and unpolished rocks, a moderate collection of terrible used romance novels, and an embarrassingly thorough collection of coffee-brewing paraphernalia. My cats have a truly astonishing collection of mechanical pencils and disposable chopsticks.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:07 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Books. Lots of books. My friends don't like me very much when I move house.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:14 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


as a side note, The Volcano Lover, by Susan Sontag, shows me that Sontag really understands what it means to be a collector.
posted by janey47 at 12:29 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a nice quantity of vintage hankies. I use them as hankies.
posted by Stewriffic at 1:00 PM on November 23, 2015


My cats have a truly astonishing collection of mechanical pencils and disposable chopsticks.

I don't think of myself as collecting anything, but the number of cat toys I have to step over every morning might show that up as the lie it is.
posted by jaguar at 1:10 PM on November 23, 2015


Fridge magnets. And I travel. Mother's double door is covered. So is mine. And other stuff. Colour - pens, paint, brushes, ink, pencils, crayons, paper, stuff. Books. Masks. Small shit that ends up tied up in a bag or two with every move or a change of desk. I have bags, sorted by continent, country and city. "Era analysis" stuff.
posted by infini at 1:14 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


My cats have a truly astonishing collection of mechanical pencils and disposable chopsticks.

Mine have started a collection of wine corks, which they keep under the sideboard. I have a hard time keeping up with their demands for more.
posted by JanetLand at 1:15 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also have every laptop I've ever owned but that's not a collection as much as a bunch of stuff I didn't get rid of

So, lemme tell you about my Windows 3.1 486DX 20MB still works first ever laptop, with a trackball mouse.
posted by infini at 1:17 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bottlecaps, CDs, coins, cookbooks, keychains, RSS feeds, few of them in any real systematic way.
posted by Small Dollar at 1:18 PM on November 23, 2015


guitars. and an enormous collection of empty diet pepsi cans. and stuck in the pages of a book somewhere, a scrap of paper autographed by ted nugent circa 1968. but i may have burned that.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:20 PM on November 23, 2015


I used to collect real paper snail mail correspondence until it ended.
posted by infini at 1:22 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a small but growing collection of plush cephalopods--mostly octopi, but a few squid and one nautilus. I've recently started branching out into other marine invertebrates; I got a friend working in Japan to bring me back a plush Anomalocaris and a plush Hallucigenia.

My current ambition is to get a plush Flamboyant Cuttlefish. To the best of my knowledge no such thing is produced commercially, so I may have to learn to sew or crochet or something.
posted by fermion at 2:14 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, lemme tell you about my Windows 3.1 486DX 20MB still works first ever laptop, with a trackball mouse.

:D If I expand my idea of "mine" to include things I inherited from my dad. I have a DG-One.

And yes also on the correspondence. I basically have everything anyone's ever sent me that wasn't just a "we signed our name" holiday card including notes from high school.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:28 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wasn't kidding about the buttons. Give me your buttons.
posted by cooker girl at 2:28 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Soundguy99:I bet I would speak for no small number of MeFites if I were to ask, "How many musical instruments and/or accessories/accoutrements/ancillary pieces of gear does it take to make a "Collection"? And do they all have to actually be functional right at this minute?"

Because I've either got a collection or just a bunch of noise-making crap.


That's not a collection SG, that's G.A.S. a totally different thing:
How many Strats do you need to be happy? How many Strat copies, each extensively modified to be able to produce the variations in tone that once would have required maybe four different guitars? How many knobs and switches does that Strat need? . . .

Consider for a moment the karmic implications of owning all those guitars. Picture yourself dragging your ass through eternity with all those guitars strapped to your back. . . .

Imagine that your wife finds out how many guitars you actually have ("Is that another new guitar?" "Oh, no, honey - this one's about twenty five years old!") . . .
I have definitely employed that last dodge. I don't have as many guitars as Nigel Tufnel, but I have more than I can play at once, more than I can carry to a gig by myself. I actually have two nearly identical examples of one popular guitar, because after I had the first one repaired, I couldn't part with either of them.

My most recent acquisition is neither new nor twenty five years old; it's eighty six years old, and I bought it because my father told me that his uncle (who I never met) used to play one back in the 1930s and I thought it was a good story.

It's a G.A.S.
 
posted by Herodios at 2:51 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Dictionaries. Also style manuals, usage guides, and other reference books related to the English language.

To a much lesser extent, prayer books (primarily, but not exclusively, Jewish). And I have way too many T-shirts.

But mostly dictionaries.
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:03 PM on November 23, 2015


(Also, I'm accumulating an alarming number of ukuleles, but that's entirely unremarkable among uke players.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 3:04 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have several hundred keychains from around the world that I collected from childhood through college. Other than the time I twist-tied them all to cardboard for a presentation about my hobby in German class ("Ich sammele Schl├╝sselb├╝nde.") they have spent most their time in a box.

This year I decided it was silly not to enjoy them, so I am happily carrying the "Happy Sweet 16" engraved brass unicorn that my parents gave me.
posted by belladonna at 3:09 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a growing obsession with collecting West German mid-century pottery. I have about 30 pieces of various funky shapes, bold colors and crazy textures.
I'm now in the market for shelves. Lots of shelves.
posted by rocket88 at 3:23 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


A growing collection of LEGO minifigs and Creator sets.The minifies are especially entertaining, as they are kept on a bookshelf low enough for boy theBRKP to play with. Which means coming home to interesting tableaus involving a mermaid, Shakespeare, a Blues Brother and a troll (among others).

I also have three different Martin Straka jerseys and his rookie card, so I guess you could say that I am kind of a fangirl.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:00 PM on November 23, 2015


3D Jesus pictures. (Like the old baseball cards).
posted by wester at 4:38 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm anti-collecting in general (physical possessions, live light, etc.), but I do have a very, very nice collection of Islay scotch. I have virtually every extant Ardbeg and Laphroaig expression, three bottles of (no longer in production) Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist (gotta stock up on my all-time favorite) and the Managers Choice Lagavulin.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:34 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Laphroaig is my favorite scotch! Have you ever been on some kind of scotch walking tour? I'm dying to go on one. (But I would just be happy to go the Isle of Islay.)

I'm just enthralled by everyone's collections, they're all very neat and interesting.
posted by barchan at 7:02 PM on November 23, 2015


I haven't, no. I'm a little far from Scotland. Maybe in a year or two, though.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:15 PM on November 23, 2015


I have too many soldering irons.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:17 PM on November 23, 2015


I collect food labels featuring beaming Aryan children. For some reason, it's a thing.
posted by the_blizz at 7:41 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I seem to be inadvertently collecting framed needlepoint art, because I find it interesting and you get can get it for almost nothing at Goodwill stores. My favorite is a very 60s (or 70s) number with flowers in purple and red and pink in a red frame. It just sort of pokes you in the eye with obnoxiousness; always cheers me up. I don't know why I like them; maybe they remind me of my very crafty mom and grandma, who were completely unable to pass their skills on to me.
posted by emjaybee at 7:41 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


I used to buy a ton of used books so I have collections of Nabokov, cyberpunk novels (Gibson, Stephenson, etc.), a bunch of books I used to love as a kid, and history books of San Francisco. I also have every letter I've ever received, all of my school papers from high school on, messenger bags and backpacks and a fabric stash to rival all others.
posted by bendy at 7:59 PM on November 23, 2015


So many carnivorous plants. I spent much of Sunday moving the tropicals back into the greenhouse and mulching the perennials for winter dormancy.

I also like taking photos of lots of one thing, it really relieves my itch to collect.
posted by jamaro at 8:05 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Orchids of Hawaii Barware and 1960s - 1970s era Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks. Pictures of moments.
posted by SinisterPurpose at 10:12 PM on November 23, 2015


I collect souvenir pins. It started out with a very limited edition 2000 pin that Disney put out (each digit is a separate pin) that my dad gave to me. Since then when I travel or when my friends do, I get a pin. Each pin has a story. I display them all on the wall on a hanging quilt a friend made for me. It's turned into a great conversation starter and a bit of decorative art. I've got a much smaller collection of paperweights and 16 boxes of family photos dating back to the 1920s. Why yes, I do live in an apartment why do you ask?

And it's genetic, my daughter has a huge collection of Pops (Marvel and Disney). She's taking over my bookshelves one creepy big headed plastic critter at a time.
posted by ladyriffraff at 10:16 PM on November 23, 2015


Oh yeah, I guess I sort of forgot a couple of collections...

Money, I collect bills... While I like the Euro in theory, it made me sad when much of europe stopped making wonderful beautiful bills. I had my collection in my cubicle at a couple of workplaces - this helped grow the collection... People would know I collected money and then bring me more of it. It's not worth much, but I love it.

Military/spook/hacker challenge coins; it's a modest collection, again, mainly given to me.

Hacker/spook (NSA, FBI, CIA, etc) shot glasses. Hacker convention badges.

I've said too much.
posted by el io at 10:35 PM on November 23, 2015


Magnets. I try to get one as a souvenir every time I take a trip somewhere.
posted by rue72 at 10:52 PM on November 23, 2015


I have a collection of carved wooden masks in my living room, a wall covered in interesting silver things in my kitchen, rocks that I have picked up around the world in the bathroom, and probably about 50 scarves. Oh and boots. I have a lot of boots.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:10 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


fiercekitten, I don't know how many cards you have, but I quit playing and sold a collection of about 7000 Magic cards (a 10-ream paper box full) a few years ago, but re-picked-up the habit about two or three months ago. It can be a sickness if not handled carefully.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:07 AM on November 24, 2015


Collections in our house include many digital photos that we rarely look at again, many books and comics we don't read enough, thousands of CDs, hundreds of records and tens of tapes I don't listen to often enough (let's not even look at my digital music archives, spanning three external HDDs and hundreds of CDrs), but I'm always happy to get more of any of these, because new things are fun (for a while). We also have bins of LEGOs (in general jumbles -my collection- and maintained in their original boxes with all the original pieces -my wife's collection- that are waiting for the day our boys are big enough to be trusted with such treasures). There is also a significant collection of dinosaur toys and matching card games in our house now, but those are all used well and frequently.

To any would-be music collectors: stay away from the $0.01 CD sales on eBay - I've spent hours combing through hundreds of CDs, usually coming away with 10 to 20 new CDs that I know will be good, or at least interesting for a while (or worse, I buy specifically to improve Discogs listings). "It's so cheap, especially when you buy a lot and save on shipping!" you think. And then 5 years later, there are some CDs you still haven't opened, but you're afraid to find out what they really sound like, and anyway you have 15 new free mixes you found online last night when browsing archived radio shows and podcasts ....
posted by filthy light thief at 7:07 AM on November 24, 2015


I've moved a lot so the big book collection finally has been winnowed down to things that would give me physical pain to not have around. Besides that, I have a middling-sized collection of ladies magazines from the late 1800s to the 1960s, plus other paper ephemera and the occasional vintage photograph. My devoted audience on Flickr is mostly people who like 1960s catalog photos of ladies in girdles and other shapewear. I also collect Green Men, but my collection stays small because I'm really picky about the ones I like (medieval or Renaissance ones) and the ones I don't (those more on the New Agey side).

I have a small office desktop collection of skulls, which started out in the wake of my museum's Dia de los Muertos festivities, as well as an equally small collection of octopus stuff - a Christmas ornament, a piggy bank.
posted by PussKillian at 8:29 AM on November 24, 2015


I've tried to stop adding to my collections, pared down some of them, and have even gotten rid of a some. It takes a lot of willpower to fight the bug, but we have a tiny house. I've kept my typewriters, bierstiens, books, board games, cards, clocks, old phones, and vintage computers. The only one I freely add to now is my ti99/4a computer collection, but by now I've acquired most of the cheap and easy to find stuff, and all that is left is very rare and out of my impulse-buy price range. I haven't bought another typewriter in years as they are too damn bulky. That is also the one I get the most ribbing about from friends, family and in-laws, and I only have 7. That is barely even started!
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:16 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do a lot of antiquing for mid-century Scandi glass, esp. these little green guys from Dansk. I have maybe sixty? Never enough. Kosta Boda, Strombergshyttan, Holmegaard, Nuutajarvi, Orrefors, Nybro -- whatever. The search appeases my hunter-gatherer instincts.

I also collect cuckoo clocks. Thirty or so in the house. But a) I live alone, and b) I'm hearing impaired, so c) who gives a fuck?

I have an addictive personality. I know this. Better to channel it into harmless objects than trying my luck gambling.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:41 AM on November 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have 60 or 80 glass paperweights. I started with attractive junk shop bargains, but once I started learning about the real quality ones a few years ago, I largely priced myself out of what I wanted, so I've had to let that lay dormant for a while. Most of the "collectible" i.e. 19th century ones I'd really want now are in museums, anyway. There are some excellent contemporary glass workers out there doing very nice work, but I love the vintage stuff the best. The closest I have come to that is a couple early 20th century Chinese Clichy rip-offs & some Perthshires, which are modern, but done in the classic millifiori style.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:08 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I work for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in Oakland and have been collecting BART memorabilia for quite sometime. I have a small part of the collection on display in my office. The wooden train is from my childhood, and not BART-related but seemed to fit the collection.
posted by agatha_magatha at 12:52 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh, you mean that pile of long fabric we wrap around our neck is a collection? heh I have one. And socks. its my secret affordable pick me up when window shopping.
posted by infini at 12:53 PM on November 24, 2015


I have a weakness for vintage dolls, clowns, and toys, if they have a certain... je ne sais quoi.

Also I'm not sure if it counts, but we collected a lot of game boards for the kitchen ceiling (this is the finished half, the other side is still in progress.)

Usonian is a tolerant man.
posted by Lou Stuells at 1:31 PM on November 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


I acquired an old library card catalog last year to house my Magic: the Gathering card collection. I am certainly in the "1%" of Magic players. It's sort of ridiculous, but I do love it so.
posted by explosion at 1:41 PM on November 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


I acquired an old library card catalog last year to house my Magic: the Gathering card collection.

I have played Magic exactly twice in my life yet I am so amazingly envious of this you cannot even imagine.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:39 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief: "many digital photos that we rarely look at again"

Amazon has this thing if you are using their photo storage service where their app features your photos for that day from years past. I've found it pretty cool to be prompted to have a look.
posted by Mitheral at 3:51 PM on November 24, 2015


I have my Apple TV's screensaver to show all my Flickr favorites and it's been really nice to see all those memories go by.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 4:50 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Model horses
Books

I am really trying not to collect anything anymore though :)
posted by Calzephyr at 6:23 PM on November 24, 2015


Tourist magnets from places I visit. Looking up at my steel shelves, I see Ivar's Clams, Niagara Falls, Hawaii Volcano Park, and a couple dozen more.

Also, I have a box with hundreds of sake labels I've soaked off bottles. Someday they may wallpaper a small room or ceiling, but then I could never move.
posted by Gotanda at 8:19 PM on November 24, 2015


I acquired an old library card catalog last year to house my Magic: the Gathering card collection
I have always wanted a library card catalog! Not sure what I'd store in it , but I really, really want one!
posted by bookmammal at 4:36 AM on November 25, 2015


I used to collect Snoopy themed items - plush toys, books, mini collectible figurines (modern and vintage) snow globes and artwork, a radio, coin banks, t-shirts ...but I let most of that go over the last few years.

I forced a penguin themed collection on one of my sisters through multiple years of Christmas presents for my own personal amusement.
posted by Julnyes at 12:21 PM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Shout out to my fellow nail polish hoarders collectors! At this point, I'm working on enough for two years, fresh mani every day, no repeats. It just happened, somehow!

I would purge because there are certainly polishes I don't really like that much, but I'm too scared to send polish to anyone through the mail, so here they sit. My Helmer + Melmer are almost full, and I need to do something... but in the meantime, my ILNP pre-order should be shipping Monday, if not sooner!
posted by lysimache at 2:50 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm trying hard not to add too much to my nail polish collection - after my last purge I still had somewhere around...*mumblety*hundred bottles, all neatly stored largely by brand in stackable shower caddies. Except for the very special ones in two makeup cases, aka the "In Case of Fire" bags.

But then Rescue Beauty Lounge shut down last week and the owner liquidated everything soooooooooooo I have some more bottles coming and then I saw a strikingly pretty new Sally Hansen Miracle Gel color and also OPI for once has a holiday polish I want and I mean I'm only human by which I mean I HAVE TO STOP I can't carry all those shower caddies.
posted by angeline at 3:11 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


When I moved a friend pointed out that I had more boxes of art supplies and random stationary than clothes or dishes. Nothing fancy but an emergency hits I can open an office supply store in five mins.
posted by kanata at 5:16 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are you now, or have you ever been, a secret nail polish hoarder?
(Guilty here, although in the past tense- I gifted my collection to a younger cousi a decade ago when it became clear my hobbies were totally incompatible with painted nails.)

As for least used collections, I have a series of attachments for my Singer machine that I have never touched (anybody need a buttonholer for a 1938 singer?). Even the machine itself is not currently on the same continent as me, but it is being used as a nightstand. And I visit it every so often. (Also I only have the one machine-- it's just the zoo of attachments which may have grown a little large..)
posted by nat at 3:23 AM on November 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Monopas, please check your MeMail.
posted by Quietgal at 1:17 PM on November 26, 2015


When I was putting together my Secret Quonsar gift I realized I had an enormous collection of images, almost like a stock photo house. I've been collecting source material for my collage work for 30 years, much of it from magazines from the 30s and 40s. At some point it became unwieldy so I started tearing out pages with images I wanted to keep. Well that became too much to have to sort through every time I wanted a new image, so I started cutting out images I wanted to keep. It took a few years to go through the older material and find a system that works, but in the end I went with plastic page protectors in binders. The result is, I must have tens of thousands images all sorted and cataloged.

They're sorted by category (and sub-category, etc.) and then mostly by size within each category, since I usually have a size constraint for what I'm looking for. There's one binder just for the tear sheets that had something I wanted on both sides, and another with full-page ads that might be handy. There is a lot more material in other formats (pared down drastically when I moved to this small apartment) but I know each and every one these. That's why, when my Quonsee's note said RABBITS! RABBITS! RABBITS! I knew exactly which rabbit image I wanted to make stickers with, and when I wanted to cover everything in rabbits I knew exactly what to look for.

I don't really use them anymore so the collection hasn't grown, but I don't think there's much I couldn't find in there.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:00 PM on November 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Pencils. I even created a faceted classification scheme for them in my subject cataloging class but I haven't cataloged them, yet.
posted by amapolaroja at 1:45 AM on November 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


A few hundred US highway maps. Mostly New England/Mid Atlantic focused. I love looking at the growth of the highway systems up thru the 50s, then the growth of the interstates through the 50's and 60's, and then all the proposed highways that didn't get built in the 70's.
posted by neilbert at 10:35 AM on November 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I collect Folk Art. Or, as mrgood calls it, "badly painted stuff that only you understand."
posted by peagood at 6:31 PM on November 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lighthouse figures. I have them from the size of a penny to two-feet tall. They are in all sorts of sizes and shapes and all in boxes as we have too many wild niblings to put them out. Maybe once they grow up.
posted by SuzySmith at 9:10 AM on November 28, 2015


I have about a dozen honey bears. They're comforting.
posted by theora55 at 11:16 AM on November 28, 2015


I'm a vintage dealer, which is what happens when you enjoy buying vintage stuff but don't have room or budget to keep everything you want. Theoretically a lot of my stuff is here on a catch-and-release basis, and I'll sell it eventually. But in the meantime, I have a pretty good collection of midcentury oil paintings (about a dozen portraits and half a dozen still lifes); a shelf full of Jadeite; a stack of 1920s photo albums (and sundry loose photos); and a hundred or so vintage dresses that are either part of my personal wardrobe or antique things I am keeping forever because they are too pretty to part with.
posted by nonasuch at 11:09 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have over 900 tarot decks. I've been collecting since early 2005.
posted by Annabelle74 at 11:37 AM on December 3, 2015


Darren Hayes songs - he's written and recorded a shit-ton both as part of Savage Garden and as himself (singer or songwriter). The Queensland Museum did a What Do You Collect? community exhibition a year or two ago and my stuff got on there (dude's from Brisbane), though in this case they expanded it to DH merch.
posted by divabat at 8:22 PM on December 3, 2015


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