I am not a particularly avid collector. Collections, I find, take up way too much room, and requires dusting more frequently than I care to do. I do have a lot of books. They’re everywhere in my house, stacks of them in fact, and only some of them are considered collectibles (i.e. are signed first editions). Most of the books are there to read, or for reference, and periodically I sort through them to determine which of them I can let go of, and then I have my husband cart them to the “book house” at our local transfer station so that someone else may enjoy them.
I do have a collection of trinkets based on the ’39 movie, The Wizard of Oz. And for this, I deliberately set out to collect only small items that would fit neatly behind the glass doors of small cupboards and shadow boxes, thus taking up little room and keeping them virtually dust-free. Smart. Over time I have amassed figurines made of plastic, pewter, or porcelain, most the size of my thumb, and glass marbles painted with the heads of Dorothy and her pals. I have trading cards and thimbles, music boxes, tiny porcelain boxes with even tinier contents, and an assortment of glittery ruby slippers of various sizes. Mostly I acquired these items on eBay, or my husband has because he knows it’s easy one-stop shopping come Christmas time. But small as the items are, they are beginning to require more shelf space than I currently have. I’m working on fixing that.
I have another collection I’ve been working on my entire life, one that needs little storage space or dusting. It’s a collection of words. Words that are lovely and interesting, that have texture, and affect my senses so that I can feel them in my mouth and taste them. They are delicious. Words that conjure up colors and images for me, often unrelated to their actual meaning. Confabulate. Drupaceous. Nacreous. Rugose. These are the kinds of words I stumble upon here and there in the process of living, and I record them in notebooks. I have a lot of notebooks now, but you can keep a lot of words in a notebook. Some of the older notebooks I haven’t looked at in a long, long time, and some have gotten lost entirely. It’s okay. Because, sometimes I stumble upon a word I’ve forgotten or lost and it’s like meeting a childhood friend I haven’t seen in ages and there’s a flicker of recognition, followed by the charm of getting acquainted all over again.