In creating the rules for 900 Things I did not take everything into account. I had to ask two of my blog supporters for a ruling this week on some Things. With Christmas fast approaching, it occurs to me that my rules don’t specify what to do with duplicate gifts. My rules allow me to accept a book for example, but I did not set out what to do with it if I have it already.
(Right here, this is why laws are complex. Because rules are complex)
If I get the last Christopher Hitchens book as a gift, for example. I already have it. I will be keeping it during the purge. Can I exchange it? Is the exchanged for item a new item or an extension/substitute of the old item? I’m choosing the Thing which makes me lean toward the former, but the existance of the Thing was put in motion by someone’s gesture which is allowed. Tough one.
Aaron Long, My Comicosity editor, gave the ruling that I can exchange it for an item of my choosing, but cannot add additional funds of more than 25% of the value of the exchanged item. Aaron is nothing if not an enabler of my OCD.
What to do about existing collections? I have most of Bob Woodward’s books in hardcover (the books focused on the Presidency). It makes a nice half shelf and I am a big fan of Woodward’s work. His new book, The Price of Politics, came out this fall and I missed it before starting my sabbatical from Stuff. Now do I wait a year, in which case I will get the hardcover at a discount; do I buy it digitally and break up the run; or do I ask for it for my birthday?
The purpose of this one year break is to break the accumulation of unsorted, uncatalogued, unplanned stuff. I am not dumping my carefully curated collections. My set of Jack Kerouac stays. My Booster Gold shrine stays. My Woodward books stay.
I have a “want list” of some movies, books and comic trade paperbacks that I am seeking out. Perhaps my own ruling is that I can exchange this theoretical item but only for something on my list. That isn’t impulse, it is something I have set aside as a Thing that I want in the collection.
As I work through this one glitch, I am struck that one of the unforeseen goals of 900 Things is to turn my accumulation into a collection. I’ve always said that the difference is that of curating. Anyone can packrat a pile of nonsense. When that nonsense is in glass cases it is an exhibit. The only difference is a curator. Choices of what belongs and what does not. Time for me to be that curator. Exhibit hours start November 5, 2013.
As I’ve mentioned before, I do not have a large single issue comic collection left. I make due with digital, trades and the kindness of the strange (usually my co-hosts) to get my comic fix. But a few singles always pile up. I will be sending these off to my friends at Comics for Heroes this week. My pal Brian is working from a simple yet brilliant idea of putting comics into the hands of troops and kids. Aside from my personal goals, this is just about doing what I can to help this great idea become a Big Great Idea.
For information on how to donate, visit them www.comicsforheroes.org .