Saturday, September 22, 2012

Collection Organizing: An Exercise in Sorting

Confession time.  If a card has not survived at least one World War, I have a tendency to just box large amounts of these cards prior to any form of cataloging.  What this means is that most of the time, I have no idea what I have, what I want or even what I'm collecting in post-war cards.

This morning, full of vigor and with Premier League soccer on the television, I started the great sort.  I took down the 4,000 count boxes, cleared out the bookcase and settled myself on my floor with gigantic stacks of cards.  Cards sorted by year, by player, by sport, by things I think might be interesting.  Endless sorting, but I think I've seen every card I own made after 1945 today.  (No need to sort the tobacco cards, they are fairly well sorted on a regular basis.)

After the first two hours, I was still hopeful, thinking about what I would like to add to my collection, what might arrive in the mail today (2011 Topps Update Ty Cobb shortprint) and what I might consider parting with.

As each hour passed and the 4,000 count boxes filled only slowly, as I cataloged and cataloged and cataloged card after card, I wanted to own less.  If for no other reason than not wanting to ever spend 8+ hours cataloging cards.  The sorting was fun and I love putting things in numerical order, but as I felt I was losing possession of the living room floor and wondered at times, would I ever finish, I became disheartened, not with the cards, but the work I was putting into them.

The good news is that I am almost done (Just the Mike Scott cards need to be cataloged and that is fairly up-to-date) and I've added a new section to the blog in the upper right hand corner called The Trade List.  It gives a semi-accurate list of cards I am looking to acquire and re-home as it were. 

The bad news is that I will need to keep up to date and catalog as I go to avoid going through such a long and painful exercise again. 

BTW, next October I will just cut and paste this entry into this blog on a Saturday and you, dear reader, will be none the wiser  Assuming I remove these last two sentences, of course.

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