Friday, October 16, 2009

Thing I've Noticed #9: People can tell a lot about you by your collections

What do you think your book or DVD collection says about you? I mean, what would a new friend think about your tastes in books and movies when they look over the stuff in your house? We've all done it, checked out our friends collections and been a little surprised at the titles they own.

One of my favourite quotes from the 1983 film "The Big Chill" goes as follows:

Michael: Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from this century?
Harold: There is no other music, not in my house.
Michael: There's been a lot of terrific music in the last ten years.
Harold: Like what?

Although not as strict as Harold, I do think there is a definite benefit to going through your book and movie collections and culling out stuff you no longer want people connecting with you.

Every August (just before my birthday) I go over my DVD and book collections and shift them around. Basically there are three stages to a titles life in my house.

Stage One: Out on the shelves in my living room or study. These books or movies are ones I'm currently interested in, or are titles I'm planning to check out soon. When people come into my house and look around, these are the titles that they notice and can safely assume I'm currently proud to own.

Stage Two: The titles I keep in the basement are either ones I want, but not around my kids (mostly horror titles), or titles that I think I might still need. Most of my University course books are down there, old RPG books are down there, my VHS collection is down there.

Stage Three: The Garage. These books are in bins and are treated as follows, if they stay there for a year, they go to the Used Book store. It is important to note that this isn't a one way trip, titles can migrate back and forth from these three spots for years.

I think it is fair to say that people do judge you by your collections, and honestly it can be a pretty good place for them to start, as you probably paid money for these things and are displaying them in your home. I've got lots of favourites, and whether they are classics, or guilty pleases, I definitely stand by them.

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