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Collecting

  • One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.

  • The collector walks with blinders on; he sees nothing but the prize. In fact, the acquisitive instinct is incompatible with true appreciation of beauty.

  • What is the use of acquiring one's heart's desire if one cannot handle and gloat over it, show it to one's friends, and gather an anthology of envy and admiration?

  • Clutter in its highest and most organized form is called collecting.

  • Collecting is like sex; satisfaction renews and creates new appetites.

  • ... the pleasure of possession, whether we possess trinkets, or offspring — or possibly books, or prints, or chessmen, or postage stamps — lies in showing these things to friends who are experiencing no immediate urge to look at them.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "The Pleasure of Possession," Times and Tendencies ()
  • You spend the first part of your life collecting things, she said, and the second half getting rid of them.

  • ... collections are amusing only in the making; afterwards they are like sporting prints without the sport. The sons of collectors inherit only the corpse of their fathers' satisfied passion.

  • More can be learned about a country and its people and culture from their buttons than can be learned from all their coins and stamps put together.

  • I instinctively like to acquire and store up what looks like outlasting me.

    • Colette,
    • 1928, in Enid McLeod, trans., Break of Day ()
  • Collect treasures that have meaning only to you. Put them in a special place, and explain them to no one, except when you're giving interviews to Time magazine.

  • [On amassing art for her collection:] My motto was 'Buy a picture a day' and I lived up to it.

  • My own passion, all my life, has been non-collecting.

  • The temperament of a collector is an interesting one; after all, necessity is never the raison d'être of a collection. And since a collection can never be complete — there is always another item or a better version available — its creation requires a predatory love of objects and an endless appetite.