What I said then
Do you remember when I said I was trying hard not to become a stamp collector? Do you remember me telling you that Lawrence Block, with his fantastic Keller (the well adjusted, stamp collecting, cool as a cucumber, hit man) series was creating the urge to start a stamp collection, and that I was fighting it.
Yes, I know, I have relapsed a few times. I have bought some magazines. I have taken the catalogue of Canadian stamps out of the library and renewed it the maximum number of times. I have started conversations online with stamp dealers (enquiries, just enquiries). I have even purchased a few commemorative stamps for Canada’s 150th birthday. And Lastly, I purchased and brought back some stamps from Vietnam as souvenirs.
That, seems to pale in comparison to today.
Today, I succumbed to fate. I am not sure how I discovered the information, but I did. I guess I will blame it on random internet searches….or Google. Anyway, I found out that there was a stamp show relatively close to where I live this weekend. To top it off, admission was free.
So, I went to my first stamp show. Having been to train shows, and model shows, I know the ability to not spend your money is hard at these things. There’s probably something to tempt you there. They’ve got catalogues, magnifiers, books, cases, a wide variety of tweezers, and of course the stamps themselves. I sort of guessed that I would buy the catalogue of Canadian stamps. If I can’t have the stamps, I can at least see what they look like.
As for the people, while I did not see any children, I saw both men and women, young and old. I saw people checking off numbers in small notebooks, unwieldy pieces of paper, and even a few ipads.
Some dealers were organized and others were haphazard, but all were knowledgeable. In fact, I should probably add that everyone was very friendly.
What’s my takeaway from this?
- You’re bound to spend more money than you budget for.
- There are lots of friendly people in the hobby.
- There are some attractive women who collect stamps (I met one who was interested in Japanese stamps and wished I had asked her out for coffee).
- The stamps themselves aren’t necessarily expensive.
- There are way too many categories of stamps and stamps. You could get swamped by it all. One dealer, told me that if I jump in, it would be better to pick one country or one theme and stick with it. It’s good advice, but nobody else seemed to be taking it.
- You’ve got to invest not only money, but also time in the hobby.
My overall experience was good. I saw many interesting things, but was able to hold off buying.
I was hoping to get the Canada Post Souvenir card for my birth year. Sadly, many dealers mentioned having it, but deemed it unworthy to bring to the show. I understood.
I did find the Calvin and Hobbes stamp set I wanted, but thought the price was a bit uncomfortable.
I did come across something that made me almost buckle. There was a collection of Japanese stamps in hingeless mounted albums. It was fairly complete. The price was ….certainly more money than I had, ….or that I could spend…..but I wanted it. I really wanted it.
Thinking upon it now, hours later, I still want it.
I did pick up an inexpensive set of bicycle stamps. I don’t know whether this is the start of a collection, or just a passing fancy. I had spent quite a bit of time talking to the dealer, and felt I should spend a little money at his booth.
I don’t suppose I could start a kickstarter campaign that would allow me to buy stamps…