There are things I have collections of, and then there are things I actively collect, if you see the subtle difference. I decided I guess about in my 30s that I needed to collect something, and I liked paperweights, so I decided on collecting those. I probably have about twenty. My first paperweight was when I was still at primary school, it had flowers inside it and my dad got it for me from an antique shop. One of my favourites has a whole dandelion seed head inside it. Amongst the others, I like the pound shop and Ebay cheapies as much as the expensive Caithness one that was give to me as a gift. I like the fact that some of the rarest and most sought after paperweights are made from the sweepings of waste glass from the floor. I had a near miss on one of these from Ebay. I will keep looking.
Other things that I have collections of but I am not ‘a collector’ of:
Shoes, more than I need but you have to keep your options open.
Recipe books. Essential item in my opinion! also many still remain from my student days when I could afford the recipe books but not necessarily the ingredients. Most used are probably Leith’s cookery bible and a huge Madhur Jaffrey book that is really two just put together.
Music. I have hundreds of CDs still, I like to have them physically there. I still have my cassette tapes and vinyl too, can’t get rid of those!
What is the difference between ‘being a collector’ and ‘having a collection’? I think it is that if you are a collector of something it is an end in itself, the other things acquired that have turned into collections have been essential items.