On Reading and Collecting

I buy comic books for a single purpose, to read them. There is a very large collector’s market and I don’t judge it. Comics should be enjoyed however you want to enjoy them. That being said, I do think it’s easy to get caught up in how much a book is worth monetarily and lose sight of what makes them so special in the first place: the art and stories.
Do I have any books that are worth a bit of money? Sure. Not tons, I’m not retiring anytime soon by selling the collection, but I definitely have a few books in my collection that are worth multiple times their cover price. Only one of those (Birds of Prey #8, the “date” issue) I bought knowing what it was worth, and even that one I bought it because I really really wanted to read it. (Dick and Babs, swoon).
I guess I’m just one of those people who isn’t overly precious about my collection. The twenty or so short boxes in my basement are filled with books I loved reading and, from time to time, go back and read again. I bag them, but mostly because they really do get messed up in the box if you don’t, but that’s about all the special handling they get outside of my love and attention.
On the other hand, my dearest friend bags, boards, and takes extremely good care of her mint condition collection. But then, she does that with all her things because that’s how she enjoys them. And she does read her comics, we share that about our books. With no intent to sell, she takes care of her collection for its own intrinsic value to her.
I do, from time to time, purge books, which my friend would never do. I have a back catalogue of stuff that DC has put out in the last couple years. I tend to fall behind on my reading and so, as DC has lost its way (hello Batgirl #37 that I did not buy), I have less and less of a desire to even open the books up.
Reading comics should never be a chore. It’s supposed to be fun, engaging, etc, etc, but never feel like work. When it feels like work, it’s time to drop the book. I have a LOT of DC books that feel like work.
So, they’re going back to my LCS (local comic store). Someone will want to add them to their collection, or will be able to sell them at an inflated price, and good for them. So long as they’re out of my hair, I don’t care what you do with them.
Getting a bit of store credit means I get to make more room for stuff I’m actually into right now. Reading, seeing great art, exploring new titles, that’s all the “value” I need to get from my comics.

0 thoughts

  1. I’ll admit…anything serialized, even TV, can feel like work to me–I’m easily overwhelmed. So, yes this, so very this: “Reading comics should never be a chore.” 🙂

    1. I hear ya. As soon as a show goes on hiatus, I tend to forget about it. Comics are a bit easier and I usually save up a story arc at a time to read, unless I’m in one of those phases where I just have to read every issue because I CANNOT WAIT.

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