Collecting, for the fun of it

Britain is a nation of collectors. From stamps to coins and military regalia — most folk know someone who collects something. One member of my family collected wooden ducks and tropical figurines. One collected foreign licence plates. Another collected stamps. Personally, I think it’s a bit odd. It’s a socially acceptable form of hoarding.

I dabbled with collecting StarTrek cards when I was at school. I got a kick out of organising them into plastic wallets, and carried the collection around in a thick ring binder. I eventually tired of it all and handed them out to a bunch of Year 7s — who were delighted. Otherwise, I don’t think that I have ever had a desire to collect anything.

I was surprised to learn that people collect bricks. Not gold bricks, building bricks. The kind you make houses with. Bricks are worthless. Their ultimate destiny is to be ground to rubble and used as hardcore. So why collect them? Because you can’t put a price on joy. I enjoyed organising my Star Trek cards, these guys – I assume that they are guys – enjoy bricks. Happiness makes the world go round.

Jason Harris’s haul of bricks. (Jason Harris, T-Space architects)
Jason Harris’s haul of bricks. (Jason Harris, T-Space architects)

I feel the urge to collect something, but something that isn’t the size or weight of a brick. Suggestions welcome.

Atlas Obscura: Brick Collecting