Fandom fascinates me. Even after blogging for over a decade, even after reading and writing about fandom for many, many years, it still intrigues me. I feel like I have learned a lot but I still feel like I don’t know everything. Heck, I’m not sure that I understand myself when it comes to the fan part of my identity. Once upon a time, I wanted to talk about my fandom all the time. Now, I am content with just having it be integrated into my life much like me being a political activist or having a cat. It just is a part of me, part of who I am. In fact, it is such a part of me that my office is all about my Duran Duran fandom. I forget that, sometimes, when new people come into my house and see the office for the first time. If you have not seen my office before, let me share some photos.
If you look at my office, you will see that I have a little bit of everything, including vinyl records, books, magazines, tour books, pins, posters, etc. Over my fandom tenure (Don’t you like that?! I phrased it like a job, a career. Ha!), I opted to get a little bit of every type of memorabilia I could think of. I got a couple of t-shirts while I bought a poster or two. I accepted pins while I sought out a tour book or two. I didn’t have a focus. Of course, other fans focused in on one type of product. Durandy, for instance, as I’m sure you all know went for the posters. He collected as many as he possibly could and took care to organize and later share them with the Duranie world. I also remember being around other fans at conventions or meetups who really worked to get pins that they did not have, tour books or t-shirts that were on their lists of “must-haves”.
So, I have a number of questions in thinking about this. Should I have focused on just one type of memorabilia? Is there a benefit to that? Why does a fan narrow to one type of merchandise while others are like me? Does that say something about our personalities? About our fandom? Now, don’t get me where. I don’t think that one type of fan is better or bigger than the other. That’s not what I am asking. I’m trying to understand fandom and fans.
I would love to hear from all of you. If you collect memorabilia for Duran Duran or any other fandom, are you like me and collect a little bit of everything? Or do you concentrate your collection on one type of merchandise? How did you decide to all or just one type? If you are a collector of one type of item, why that one? Did you always focus on that one thing or did that happen over time? Do you think it is easier to focus on one thing or would it be easier to broaden your collection to all products? Basically, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being the type of collector you are?
Please help me to better understand fandom by sharing your collecting habits!