Let’s Discuss: Hoarding As Relates To Record Collecting
Here’s the deal: I wrote a book called Record Collecting For Girls. It’s a music essay book. It in no way holds holy the institution of collecting physical albums. In fact, there’s an essay in it aims to poke holes in the idea that to be a record collector you must collect actual physical product. The title is no more than an ironic twist on that idea of the quirky, obsessive, opinionated make record collector — because that is an archetype that is always painted, in pop culture, as male.
That said, I have my own collection of records. It’s largely CDs. It sits in a pile of several boxes on the floor of one of my closets (in the world of NYC real estate, I am lucky — I have two very large, well organized closets). That last time I opened them to find and listen to a record, vinyl or CD, was probably about three years and two cities ago.
In the last five years, I’ve moved myself and my albums from NYC to LA to San Antonio and back to NYC. Every time I’ve wondered if I should get rid of my CDs now. They’re all on my hard drive and at my fingertips anytime. Honestly, I listen to the things on my hard drive less and less now also — I prefer Spotify.
I find myself unable to get rid of them.
Science Daily ran an article recently on studies of the brains of hoarders. The headline reads: Brain Hubs Boil When Hoarders Face Pitching Their Own Stuff. Sounds terrifying.
But there were a few lines in it that sounded familiar to me. Like, “Hoarding patients’ severity of symptoms, self-ratings of indecisiveness, and feeling of things being “not just right”…” Wait, that’s me. That’s exactly what I feel when I think of finally ridding myself of these CDs of boxes. It feels like, for reasons I can’t articulate, that I’m making the wrong decision. Obviously since I’ve thought about it and been unable to make a decision, opting instead to move my records across the country multiple times at great expense to myself, I’m indecisive.
So, I’m a hoarder. It’s not nostalgia. It’s not a cute hobby. I have a brain defect. But hey, I also have the original Twilight soundtrack on vinyl. Apparently I’ll always have that.