Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Can I read my entire collection?

There's definitely a difference between collecting comics and reading comics. When I first got into the hobby I'd spend hours upon hours reading everything I could get my hands on. It was fascinating exploring the complexities and history of the DC universe. However, as I got older I found myself constantly buying comics just to add to my collection. I'd stack them up in a "to be read" pile, which I'd whittle down slowly, though the process became slower and slower. Eventually, the stack of incoming comics disappeared and I'd file new items away as soon as I got them.

I blame the lack of reading on the Internet… and cable TV… and beer… and girlfriends…. and working a full-time job (not necessarily in that order). None of these things I had to deal with when I first got into comics as a teenager in the early 1990s. Obviously, times change, and I've never stopped attending comic book conventions or going to comic shops, but the rate of my reading definitely declined because I was so preoccupied by those things (and then some). I actually felt guilty or silly for spending so much money on comics in a somewhat futile attempt to "complete" my collection without having read most of the books I bought.
Chad'z Comics 001
My entire collection is stored in these DrawerBoxes
While I do have a list of all my individual comic books, I've never actually taken the time to count how many I have. Perhaps there's software available that will do that for you, but I just keep track of my collection through a Microsoft Word document. For the sake of this post I decided to take a census. My comics are housed in "Drawer Boxes" - which are essentially cardboard filing cabinets. I think they're the best way to store your collection, but that's the subject for another blog post.

Anyway, I did a quick count on a few drawers and they hold between 150 and 180 comics per drawer and I have 24 drawers. Assuming an average of 165 per box, that gives me a total of about 4,000 comics. Wow, I never even considered my collection in terms of a number before, let alone a number that high. Plus the fact that's not even including an entire bookshelf of graphic novels and trade paperbacks.
Chad'z Comics 002
My graphic novels and trade paperbacks
There was a time when I had considered selling my entire collection since I wasn't reading it. But then a few opportunities opened up to motivate me to not only read, but truly digest the scope of my collection. Firstly, I was given the chance to work from home at night. I work in the IT field and everything can be done remotely. It's rare that I'm swamped with work, so I do have quite a bit of down time. Also, since I work at night, my days are wide open which gives me plenty of time to just sit and read.

Secondly, I was able to contribute to this Times Union blog. Having an audience, especially an interactive audience, makes the experience a lot more fun. It's a great motivator for staying on schedule and putting out new content, as well as hearing different viewpoints and engaging in fun banter. I'm not saying I'm going to blog about every single comic I own, but I would like to keep the readers up to date on how the progress is going every once in a while.

 I find that writing down my thoughts on things like this helps me to remember them better, and they're great for posterity since anyone can browse through the archives and make the old new again. Though coming up with a reasonable pace is a bit challenging. If I were to read just one comic a day it would take me almost 11 YEARS to finish the books I have now. I'm probably going to be acquiring more books over that time, so that's probably not a good pace to keep. Perhaps three day? Four? A dozen?

Next week, I'll continue the discussion about collections as an open thread topic. See you then!

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