Towards the end of July, 2010 – the list of titles in my collection hit 25,000.  I noticed this as I was entering new titles obtained at the Buena Park swap meet.  Some time ago, I made a decision to not let my “collection” grow beyond 25,000 titles.         In other words, new stuff comes in, but something must go out.

As does not need detailing here, I have monstrously over-collected; multiple copies of albums (usually variants), as well as trying / buying titles that end up being “not required”.  But I usually don’t so anything about it – Into the collection it goes!

I went to San Francisco over the weekend of my birthday, and got a few more titles – more titles had to come out of my list to accommodate them.  As of today, this system is working fairly well.  My list is at 25K, not under, not over.

In a perfect world, I would like to get my collection down to an unspecified number of titles – 20,000?  18,000?  I never decided.

Looking at this scenario from the opposite perspective, I have recently started my “Ultimate Collection” project (i.e. If I had to start over, it would be with these titles).  How big will this list get to be?  At one time, I thought my “List” would / should top out at about 8,000 titles (17,000 fewer titles than I now have?  Now that’s over-collecting!)

Where do I store all of this stuff?  I have filled shelving in two rooms, and there are many cartons of CD’s, 45’s, even LP’s in two additional rooms.  I would describe my storage condition as burdensome.

All of which is not of concern to anybody who reads this.  It’s my own fault for having too much stuff.  And certainly there are hundreds…thousands of titles that I do not really need, for any purpose – that are in my “list”.  Can I assemble the master file for “60’s singles that I remember and like”?  Probably.  How many titles of any given genre do I have to own to ‘understand’ it?  Who knows…

What am I going to do with my collection?  Well…what I am doing is writing about it, listening to it, sharing it a bit and attempting to clarify what I think about it (in writing).

The good news: I am fairly happy with my big collection and I love listening to it and playing with it.  The bad news: I want some floor space back – this collection takes up way too much room!

It is certainly my 21st century conundrum.  I want a large music collection, but I don’t want to have it take up too much space.  Yes, a good portion of my collection is of aesthetic value – even beyond the music contained therein.

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7 Responses to 25,000

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    So you want a large music collection, you don’t want it to take up too much space… and you don’t want music on a hard drive/computer. It’s worth pointing out that you could have all of your CDs on a computer the size of a stack of five jewel boxes if you wanted to – but you don’t. I can’t go their, either, but I can conceive of a time when I’ll be doing that in the future. Simply because so much new music will be download only.

    At that it’s now possible to buy downloads that are equal or better than CD audio with no compression is an encouragement! My wife pre-ordered the new Brian Eno deluxe box last night and among its many features is the ability to download the music on the day of release in 24 bit WAV format. That’s 50% more information than is available on CD. Buying that set nets you 2x180gLP, 2xCD and audiophile downloads.

    The fact that you’ve removed your CDs from jewel boxes is a start in the right direction. Your storage cabinets take up way less space than my racks, but I use my CDs in a completely different way than you and I need those JBs! Where to go from there is something that I can’t really help you with as I’ve contemplated thinning out my large but modest collection (5000 titles?) by divesting myself of “redundant” releases that are purely in my home due to the collector’s sickness.

    • ronkanefiles says:

      My CD’s came out of JB’s long ago (more than 10 years ago), however, I can no longer get the library envelopes that I like, even in Japan (which the sleeves all came from). And there are quite a few titles that can’t be disassembled (such as little paper album covers). LP’s seem to take up the most room at my home. Cartons of 45’s are large, too. Still not 100% convinced that I will ever divest myself of vinyl etc. Digital sound? I can go there, but i still prefer my records.

  2. Brian Ware says:

    Have either one of you done the math to determine what percentage your collections would be reduced if you got rid of all superfluous duplicates?

    Having always been the dwarf among the giants regarding the size of my collection (1500 – 1800 titles), I’ve never had a storage problem, but this conversation is most interesting indeed.

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    Last time I checked, I could reduce everything down to approx. 7,500 titles – approx. 17,500 titles less than I presently own. Not that all of that is expendable. In Flickr, I have a “Perfect Collection” CD photo set that is a mere 804 titles. If I digitized and ditched all the singles (vinyl & CD), I still have 11,000+ records and several thousand CD’s. I would love to keep everything, but…running out of room.

  4. Skiddana says:

    Well… to quote Stephen Wright… “You can’t have everything… where would you put it!?”

  5. postpunkmonk says:

    I estimate that as much as 5-8%, off the top of my head, are redundant titles in my collection. I only go there on occasion, being of low budget, I collect redundant titles only if I can get them cheaply. That fact probably stays my hand at thinning such titles out. The net gain in space would probably be worth less to me than the redundant titles themselves.

  6. Brian Ware says:

    Jim, that’s pretty much what I would have guessed for you – 10% or less. Ron, I wasn’t sure for you, but wow, those statistics are most interesting.

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