The Collector’s Mentality

Well, it’s that time of the semester yet again when I’m absolutely completely unmotivated to do absolutely anything, so I waste my time reading 10 Hellogiggles articles and clicking on just one more BuzzFeed video (but really though, you try to stop when you’re on a roll).

Luckily, it’s only 11:30 pm and I only got 5 hours of sleep last night and will probably get a similar amount tonight, so I guess you’d say I’m doing pretty good (I hope the sarcasm is tangible).

No but really, luckily this past weekend Vault of Midnight sponsored a very special edition of Midnights at the State Street Theatre (this isn’t the official title or anything but it gets the point across), and they played probably one of my favorite movies of all time, which, if you know me, is a huge statement to make.

They played Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

*cue disappointed sighs*

Okay I mean what else did you expect from Vault of Midnight, a comic book store? Finding Nemo? For me though, this was my night. I love Scott Pilgrim. L.O.V.E. Like, I was quoting it and annoying everyone around me (sorry Ian).

Though I’d love to spend time telling you about my favorite moments and all the cool things I know from watching the commentaries multiple times, I’d like to focus on something else for this post.

On the way into the theatre, Vault of Midnight had a nice table set up with a few comics displayed, most of them having to do with Scott Pilgrim (duh) but also a couple of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s other comics. What attracted me to the table immediately though wasn’t any of those.

This, my friends, is the full-color hardback edition of Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, the first of the six part Scott Pilgrim series. While this exact one wasn’t on the table that night or else I would have had to make Ian take me to where I couldn’t try and buy it, they had the rest of the series in hardcover and full-color and they were gorgeous.

But, funny enough, I have no idea really why I want these editions of the graphic novels. I read them a couple of years ago and I mean I enjoyed them, but I haven’t read them since. I say I’d like to reread them one of these days, but they also aren’t exactly on my priority list at the moment. And yet I’d kill for a full set of these graphic novels…for…what reason?

Because they’d look good on my shelf. Does that seem like a reasonable reason? Maybe not for some people. And true, I’m not going out and buying them though they are available and I’m clearly able to, because I do have some semblance of financial responsibility, and food kind of has to come before hardcover graphic novels, no matter how pretty.

But for me, this is a good enough reason, and possibly the primary reason I own as many books as I do: last time I checked a rough estimate was 150-175, a solid number in hardback, and another 10 or so I’d like to purchase in hardback. I can easily explain the need for the 10 or so in hardback: they’re books that I read often and value highly, typically series (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, etc.), and I want them to last for years to come. It’s just fact that hardbacks last longer than paperbacks, even with the utmost devotion and care.

And through my conversations with various other readers, I surprisingly come across the same sentiments; there seems to be a collector’s mentality associated with readers of books. The reasoning behind it? Don’t ask me. Perhaps its this generations’ reactions to e-readers. Though I tout around my extremely light and convenient Kindle through all my classes, I still have that large collection waiting for me at home. I love my Kindle just as much as I love looking up at my bookshelf above my bed back home and seeing it crammed to the brim and spilling over with all of my favorite books (and the ones I haven’t started yet).

Or maybe the answer is much simpler than that. Maybe it’s just the fact that readers love reading, and owning books is one way to express that love. Whatever it is, sometimes it doesn’t make sense. I know that owning Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life won’t make my life any better than it already is. And I know I’m not going to spend $23.00 + S&H to get it to my dorm in the next week or two. But none of these facts lessen my want for it.

And to be honest, I don’t really mind.

Go visit Vault of Midnight. Do it. This store is awesome. Also don’t forget free comic book day May 2nd.

Jeannie Marie

A Venn Diagram of hipster music, sappy romantic comedies, nerd culture, adorable puppies, film trivia, totally not rigged awards shows, random illustritive quotes with a dash of not-quite-there-yet charm.

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