Saturday, July 03, 2010


Almost everyone I know has hobbies. I have a fairly unique set of hobbies, I suppose. Among these hobbies are my interests in the outdoors--Carole and I do a lot of regional traveling to go sissy-camping in our Casita trailer. We both like to go canoeing and kayaking. Most often when in our parklands and forests I can be found hiking or backpacking. Wandering around in the wilds to locate mountain peaks and waterfalls and gorges is something of which I never tire.

I read an awful lot. More than most but less than some. My passion for reading led me to become a writer. I suppose writing was initially a hobby of mine, but even when I wrote my first story as a kid of eight years I was thinking of publication. So maybe writing never really qualified as a hobby. At any rate, it ended up making me some real money, which leads me to another hobby.

When I was younger I collected books. Specifically I collected limited edition fantasy, horror, and science-fiction novels published mainly by small press outfits. Eventually I needed the money selling those books would bring me. So I sold them all off. And for a long time I didn't engage in the hobby of collecting. This was for two big reasons.

One was that I had made my living for many years by selling collectible comics and toys to the public. I traveled from Miami Florida to Albany New York to San Diego California selling everything from the latest issues of Marvel Comics to copies of very rare Golden Age books. Frankly, I couldn't afford to collect comics because I was constantly turning over my stock and they were just that to me: a commodity to be bought and traded and sold.

The second reason that I didn't collect anything for a while is that I was poor. I mean grindingly poor. We could barely pay the rent, much less afford to invest in something as frivolous as collecting rarities.

As the years passed, though, I stopped dealing collectibles for a living and went to work for the Feds. And as the years went by I found myself selling my works of prose fiction. I made more money. Nostalgia hit me somewhere along the way and I decided to start investing in old comics again. It's strictly a hobby, these days, and I sometimes treat myself to a back issue to celebrate something or other.

Recently I got a nice advance from a major publisher for a novel. So I went out and bought another comic book for my collection.

I earned it.

My latest acquisition. My set of Amazing Spider-Man is almost complete.

No comments: