Joe Collector

Most stamp collectors are married men. In fact, if you had to pick the person who was at the exact center of the philatelic demographic in this country you would have a married man in his sixties with grown children. He would be more or less happily married. He and his wife share nearly everything together. They have children, and if they are lucky, grandchildren who they enjoy together. And they share and enjoy together friends, movies, even books. But the one thing our demographically perfect collector and his wife do not enjoy together is his stamps. Very few couples contain two stamp collectors. And when they do they always collect different areas, never together.
Collecting is at its heart a solitary pursuit. Many collectors belong to societies but most do so in order to use some society services such as a magazine, or sales circuits and not for social philatelic interactions. Stamp collectors aren’t loners. It’s just that for most philatelists their stamps are private time for them to sort and relax and reorder their world in a way that makes it more manageable. What happens when a collector gets with his stamps varies from collector to collector. For some, time with their stamps is a refreshing respite from the pressure of the world. For these collectors, opening their albums is as relaxing as putting on your headphones and tuning out the world with a piece of music that you love. For others, their collections are a world of accomplishment and success where they find pride in assembling the world’s great collection of whatever. Others enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes from moving toward completeness. And others… well there are probably as many satisfactions from the hobby as there are people who are collectors. But for all collectors part of the primary joy seems to be that it is something that they do alone.
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