I know quite a few collectors who actually plan their shopping sprees. I used to do that too, at times, but today I neither look at my usual online haunts all that regularly nor do I head into town as often as I would like. The shopping patterns I adhere to are not based on emotional stability (or instability) but on 20 and more years of experience when it comes around to – bit by bit – putting together a solid collection of both printed and recorded material. What seems to be a simple activity at first, quickly turns into a convoluted process of scheming and planning, much of which has been thoroughly affected by both local politics and European protectionism.
Over here in Germany, being a music collector isn’t as much fun as it could be. Like the rest of you, we can of course enjoy those items that we finally managed to get our hands on, but getting there is usually the problem, especially if you are on a tighter budget. Prices are sometimes outrageous here, customs officials handling imports from the US, for example, could perhaps be likened to 500-pound gorillas from whose IQ you automatically need to deduct another 10 points, and when confronted with wrapping and packaging by some international mail order dealers, you are never really surprised when your shipment gets hit by a Chinese water demon in transit. Continue Reading →