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SNW Issue 14
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The Artful Collector
Strange New Worlds  Issue 14 - June/July 1994

Possession Obsession: The Case Against Hoarding
[Page 1, 2 ]
by Jane Frank
Director of Worlds of Wonder Gallery, Washington DC

You May be A Pack Rat ...

Diagnostic Self-Test

You are a hoarder if (check all those that apply):

q You can’t pass up the opportunity to acquire another example of something you already own . . . if the price is right.

q When you refer to your collection, it is in terms of multiples, (i.e., "I have hundreds of comics in my closet" or "I have a few sets, some of them incomplete.") as opposed to "Oh, yes. I have one of those."

q The idea of buying in quantity turns you on. Even collections in which only 50% of the material might be useful or of good quality. You’ll figure out what to do with the rest of the material after you’ve bought it.

q When asked where you’re going to put another one, you’re fond of replying, "Don’t worry, I’ll find a space for it somewhere."

q Dusting has become impossible, or at least improbable. When you think of dusting at all, it is as a yearly event.

q You spend a lot of time worrying about what could be the next "hot" collectible; time that could be spent learning how to maximize your existing collections.

q You find yourself thinking about what you should collect without giving much thought to what you already collect.

q You’ve lost track of your collection. You don’t know exactly what you own.

q You frequently misplace things in your collection. You know you’ve got it, but where? Once found, you may not remember its name, or where you got it, or why you have it.

q You’re fond of quoting Frank’s Law "Collections expand to fill the available space."

q You can’t bear to sell or trade anything, for fear that you may be giving away something irreplaceable or selling it before it’s reached its peak.

q Friends, when referring to you, say stuff like "It’s his thing." Relatives thinks it’s a sickness. You think you’re having fun.

q When you are able to replace an object in your collection with a superior example, you don’t sell off the inferior one.

q To the question "What do you collect?" you’re apt to answer, "A little of this and a little of that," or, "Everything I can."

q The phrase "pruning your collection" holds no meaning.

Possession Obsession [Page 1, 2 ]

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Articles by Jane Frank written for Strange New Worlds:

bulletHow to be a Sucker - why you paid too much, and how to avoid doing it again
bulletNegotiating the Rocky Waters of Collecting - learn how to bargain for price with dealers
bulletPossession Obsession - The Case Against Hoarding - are you building a collection or just a pack rat?
bulletTake the Diagnostic Test: Are You a Pack Rat?
bulletIs It Advertising or Is it Art? - You know what you like, but do you know what to call it? N.C. Wyeth and Rockwell were once scorned as "commercial" illustrators, but now their art is highly collectible.
bulletCollectibles as Gifts - the do's and dont's of giving collectibles
bulletHow to display your science fiction collectibles

Fantasy and Science Fiction Art Books by Jane Frank:
bulletThe Frank CollectionA legendary SF&F art collection, containing the largest assortment of fantastic art in the world — includes the most celebrated names in the field: Earl Bergey, John Berkey, Chesley Bonestell, Margaret Brundage, Frank Frazetta, H.R. Giger, Frank R. Paul, J.K. Potter, Boris Vallejo, and many others. 112 pages (all in color). Hardcover.
bulletThe Art of Richard Powers"I think Richard Powers was one of the most original artists to enter the science fiction field, which he shook up considerably ... I am happy to see this collection of Richard Powers's outstanding work." — Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Hardcover, 128 pages (all in color)
bulletGreat Fantasy Art Themes from the Frank Collect 128 pages (all in color), hardcover. Available in May, 2003. Order now and save.




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