This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The joy of collecting--paper!

Clearly, this is just a way for me to rationalize my obvious hoarding, but I love to collect brochures, maps, posters, postcards, greeting cards, bumper stickers, stickers, bookmarks, and other notes and paper things I find in my travels or that people give to me.

Tossing this stuff out? Rarely happens. I always wonder if it could be useful some day, just as it was that very moment when I first laid hands on it.

Then, one day, on a trip to Bisbee, Ariz., I came upon the name for what all this paper is that I collect: ephemera. Fancy, yes? Indeed! I discovered the name for it at a vintage bicycle shop, and I've since adopted the name to use for my own purposes. I now collect "old paper," or, ephemera! An elevation of reality, to be sure, but it works for me.

Whenever I pick up a new travel brochure, for example, because I think I might write or want to write about whatever's printed on the glossy pages, I say it's ephemera. I absolutely glorify the printed page. And my boyfriend plays along. When we stay in hotels and he spies the travel brochure case before I do, he points it out to me, "Ephemera," he'll say, knowing I'll head right over and pick through this goldmine of information.

And today I discovered I'm not alone. I found this website via The Candy Wrapper Museum. How lucky can I get?! Now, I have a place to learn more. The owner writes about old photographs, celebrities, collectors, collections, eBay purchases, and many other things that are related to ephemera, most of which I hadn't even thought about. It'll give me a chance to explore how I can further make my own "collection" make sense--or just have more fun with it.

Do you have an obsession, er, collection that you enjoy? What is it and how long have you been storing the old stuff?

(Photo above, taken by me last year in Flagstaff, illustrates an artist's collection of postcard art. Boy, would I love to have that!)


Anjuli said...

I do love old photographs, postcards--- what a great link you have shared...I can't wait to dive in!! Love the word- Ephemera- now I'll try it on my hubby and see if he can start seeing my 'important collection of papers'- as more than just junk! :)

BIKE LADY said...

It could work! ;-)

Alexandra said...

We have a swap shop at our dump and my husband is forever bringing home old books. We have so many, that I had to tell him, take one, return one.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Ephemera sounds so much better than piles of stuff. I collect old photographs, Texas history books, Southwestern lore, crosses, nativity sets, Quan Yin statues, lots of other books, family stories, and assorted, ephemera. Thanks for dressing up my obsessions.

BIKE LADY said...

It works, though, doesn't it, Caroline? I love that word.

Alexandra, he can't keep ALL the books?!

Claudine M. Jalajas said...

I would not say that I collect...just don't look at my bead stash. That's not collecting, it's....inventory. someday I might need them.

That said, I have my mothers passport from when she entered the country as a ballet dancer (I have it framed). On a shelf I have a gorgeous postcard that my grandmother sent my mom when she finaly persuaded my grandfather to travel from Brooklyn and they went to Spain in 1962. And I have some small books that talk about the 49 peaks of the ADK mountains from my father in law. He climbed them all and tool detailed notes in the margins.

All history...

Jenni said...

Little boxes. and fancy paper. Love them both. I'm decluttering my home, and part of the work is to find a way to display or properly store the things I love. So my collections are going to get their due soon!