Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Monday's Question, Wednesday's Answer

My macaroni is cooking... soon it will be macaroni and cheese. So while that's happening, let's look at Pack War's Monday Question for the week:
Do you collect other items besides cards?
Why yes. Yes I do.

As a kid, I collected books. My grandmother was a librarian, so that shouldn't be surprising. Between all of my family members, I probably received about one book a week. Scholastic Book Club must have loved me. (Actually, it was through them that I first really developed my interest in baseball cards.) I probably had over 500 books as a kid - maybe more - split between my house and my grandmother's house. I read many more books than that, though, as I was a frequent visitor to my school's library and the neighborhood library near my grandmother's house.

These days, I don't have as many books. The kids books at my grandma's house are in some other family member's possession, hopefully being enjoyed by my cousins' children. And I'm really not sure what happened to the books that I carried with me to adulthood - I remember having a couple boxes but I'm not sure where they ended up.

But I've developed a small collection of other books over the last twenty years or so, too. I've kept a few books from my older childhood years, like Robinson Crusoe and Anne Frank's Diary. I have a few other novels in boxes, some of which I've never read. I believe I have about half of the Harry Potter series, and no, I've never read a page of Harry Potter.

In high school and on through college, I was big on pop culture - movies, music, and TV shows. So I have books related to those interests. I have photo books, like the Then and Now city series, and plenty of roller coaster and amusement park-related books. I also have a bunch of non-fiction books, relating to science, history, and economics. I've read through and kept many of George Carlin's and Michael Moore's books. And there are several travel books I've used for reference, though these days I use the internet more.
Of course, I have baseball books. I might have more than 200. I might have more than 300. All I know is, I have a lot. When I was a kid, I read some fiction baseball books, but I prefer books that tell the real story of baseball's past. One of my favorites is Fair Ball, by Bob Costas. But many of the books I have remain unread.

All told, there is no number on how many books I have, but I do know there are more than 150 books in boxes at my mother's house - the ones I collected over just 15 months. What's left in storage? I hope to find out at the end of the year. (I'd guess around 200 more. I went on a big book-buying spree when I moved back to San Francisco.)

I could stop this post here and be good. But there's more. Oh boy, there's so much more.

I've been to several concerts and events over the years, and I've picked up a good collection of memorabilia (set lists, guitar picks, drum sticks, even a water bottle and small cut of hair!).

I have some magazines that interest me, but I've gotten rid of almost all of them.

At several events, I've managed to get autographs, and I'm up to 101 autographs now. That collection stalled out when I moved to SF, as I haven't been to DragonCon since 2009. It's a stagnant but not inactive collection.

I have lots of movie souvenirs, usually simple trinkets, but I've collected some movie wardrobe and props and a bunch of posters.

And I've tried to cut back on it, but I have collected a lot of tchotchkes from my travels, too. I used to try to get one small thing from every place I stopped, but since moving to Japan I've tried to limit it to just one per city or area, plus anything really special.

Speaking of Japan, I've also picked up a bunch of licensed goods. There's way to much to talk about here, but I hope to eventually make a series of posts about my collection. I'm going to sort through what I have first, because I want to focus on just a few areas.

Anything baseball - books of course, figures, card tins and boxes, game-used stuff, hats...

Really, my collecting focus has changed over the years, and as I've picked up new interests, I've started new collections. That said, I really want to focus my efforts in just a few areas... how I can do that, I don't know!


  1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have been two of my favorite books of all time. I have read them at least a dozen times each, Mark Twain was an amazing writer. I keep looking at Buddy Jesus figures and keep putting it off, some day I will finally pick one up.

  2. I enjoyed collecting books as a kid... almost as much as I enjoyed collecting cards. Restarted collecting books when I became a teacher in the the late 90's, but I've slowed down over the years due to lack of space.