Motivation Behind Collecting

The hobby of collecting various objects (which may or may not have dollar value) is very old. Many academicians try to figure out the reason behind this harmless time passing hobby. There is not a single answer to the question of why people collect certain things. People have different reasons for collecting different objects.

Depending on the person’s mental attitude, the reason for collecting varies. For many people, collecting a particular collectible is just a hobby that they do passively. But, there are people for whom the collecting is not just a hobby, but a passion. It may consume the majority of their time.

There are collectors who are never satisfied, even after acquiring sizable amounts of collectibles. The collector who has amassed more than 5,000 stuffed toys always wishes to acquire new stuffed toys. There are people who have filled up their entire house with their collectibles.

I know a hobbyist who collects mechanical toys. He has rented a garage to store more than 10,000 of his mechanical toys. His wife is still complaining that their bedroom is filled with many mechanical toys. It is common that the obsessive hobbyist is only limited by either space of storage or the money.

There has not been any extensive study done to reveal the exact reason for collecting. It is believed by many that the future price of collectibles is often the main motivating factor for hobbyists. It is observed that the value of collectibles often increase many times during a short period of time.

For the lucky collectors which bought that particular collectible, this produces profits. In short, many can earn money while still enjoying their favorite hobby. It is not always possible to earn profit from collectibles. You can also lose money if the demand for your collectibles dies off and you have bought the collectible at higher price. The rule of supply and demand is also applicable for collecting. But, there are very limited chances of loss, as most of the collectibles are scarce and high in demand.

When asked about the reason for their hobby, most collectors insist that monetary benefit is not the primary reason for their hobby. The most common reason hobbyists give is that they love to gain tremendous amounts of knowledge by pursuing their hobby of collecting objects.

There are some hobbyists who claim that the reason for their hobby is to build relationships with other collectors, which cannot be possible without the common hobby of collecting. Some people think that the most common reason for collecting different objects is the sheer joy that comes while finding and acquiring the collectibles.

Psychologists have different opinions on this. They think that the hobby arises to escape from feelings of anxiety and loneliness. But there is no agreement amongst psychologists over the reason for collecting. Some even think that the hobby of collecting objects is a hobbyists way to control their own hypothetical world.

But, no matter what the reason is for collecting, it is almost always a positive use of time. It provides a great learning activity, and is sometimes even a profitable venture. So don’t shy away from collecting because of the reasoning behind it. Embrace the urge to collect, as long as it doesn’t detract too much from your relationships or your bank account.


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