This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Thing To Do Today: collect.

Cartophily is the hobby of collecting cigarette cards.

Humans, eh?

I've tried, I really have, but I don't understand this collecting thing.

It's not that I can't see the survival advantages: I mean, squirrels.

I can even see why the more Lego the merrier.

Agglomerations can be truly useful - of buttons, perhaps - but I never have the faintest desire to arrange them, and the essence of a collection is in the arrangement.

I don't know, though...having said that, I'd certainly find wall space if I were offered every Vermeer in the world (though however could I afford to insure them?) and of course once I'd bought my first lovely wooden apple then there was no choice but to carry on collecting wooden fruit of various kinds until my bowl was full.

Hmm...and I must admit I do have a lot of yellow things in my kitchen...

...and as for all the books...

Ah well. Perhaps collecting is an inescapable part of being human, after all. At least I don't possess one single cigarette card. That's some comfort.

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Thing To Do Today: collect. I have known people who keep old batteries in the same tin as the new ones. This is insane. The word collect comes from the Latin colligere to gather together.


  1. No cigarette cards here either!
    I must admit that I once had a few collections going on, but then we downsized, and there wasn't room for much of anything.
    Just dust collectors really aren't they?! :)

    I did keep one collection - of Santa Claus's. It was started for me many years ago by my mum, and I've kept it up. It's packed away for 11 months of the year though. So I mostly avoid the dusting thing!

    1. Most of the time I just blow the dust from my wooden fruit. Well, have you ever tried dusting a bunch of grapes?

  2. My late husband, Norm, collected Cricket books, second hand ones! I used to tell him I collected clothes..which is not quite true but a good riposte to remarks like: "But you've already got three pairs of black trousers!" And I don't really count things like buying books or knitting wool as COLLECTING....and I too never had any stickers, cards etc. Not from cigarette packets or anyone else.

    1. Norm also had a collection of small elephant sculptures, and every time I see an elephant I remember him with much love.

  3. But Sally ... are you not a collector of interesting words? Of trivia? Of knowledge?

    Our collections may not consume physical space, but they are no less perplexing to those that do not share our rapacious urge for more.

  4. Perhaps you're right, Ed, though sometimes I wonder if I'm approaching the stage where even facts are acquired on a one-in one-out basis.