The Impulse to Collect

There are three main conscious reasons why people collect anything and there are specific modifications of these principles about why they collect stamps in particular. First, collecting satisfies the desire to set and achieve goals. Stamp collecting is a particularly satisfying hobby in this regard in that, because of our extensive catalogs, collectors know what they need to obtain more clearly than most other collecting hobbies(try getting a complete collection of red buttons). If a collector sets a goal of obtaining a set of Famous Americans he can readily achieve it. Goals can be set at easy to very difficult levels depending on the collectors interests and needs. Second, collecting fulfills our need for orderliness. People have a need to arrange things in ways that make sense and in this regard, philately is one of the best hobbies as our albums and neat page lay out make ordering different pieces of paper easy and interesting. And third, people collect because of an aesthetic appreciation of the artistic properties of the objects they collect. Here too, philately is at the top. Each stamp is a miniature piece of art ready for our perusal and examination at any time.

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