Buying vinyl collections – a philosophical dilemma

Vinyl collection shelves

Despite being a dedicated advocate of digital DJing, I still and always will find myself completely enamoured with vinyl. Not necessarily from an audio quality perspective (it’s not all brilliantly mastered and pressed), but from the viewpoint of it being real. It’s tangible, and there’s a real process in buying, playing and owning it. And with each piece of vinyl there is a memory – some bad (why in God’s name did I buy that without listening to it?), and some utterly amazing that are burned into my psyche as if they happened just yesterday.

So I find myself with a dilemma. My record collection isn’t that big, partly because I never had huge amounts of cash to buy just any old vinyl, nor the space to store it, but also because I was quite selective about what I bought. I had to like it before I dropped a large percentage of my tiny income on it. But now I have the new studio, and a ridiculous amount of space. Combine this with a renewed desire for tangible real things, I want to buy a lot of vinyl. But I find myself with an internal conflict.

I could drop by eBay and bid on all manner of vinyl job lots with the sole intention of very rapidly building an expansive and enviable wall full of vinyl. But for me, this equates to the current malpractice of “collecting” hundreds of thousands of tracks across terabytes of drives for nothing more than bragging rights. To dredge up an old maxim, they would not be platters that matter.

So here I am with the headline philosophical dilemma – as much as I’d love to own an obscene amount of vinyl and post a ridiculous number of pictures on Facebook, I keep coming back this — to me music a very personal thing and not a just a commodity.

So vinyl owners — where do you stand on this? Are you a hopeless vinyl junkie who absolutely has to have any  old vinyl? Or are you a tad more sentimental and selective about your collection? Would you rather know each and every record in your collection and tell the story behind each of them? Or do you want to pull a muscle pose in front of a wall of vinyl regardless of what it is?

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