The struggle of collecting CDs when you’re a nomad
I miss the pastime of collecting CDs… as in albums. I really do. There was a time, from around 2000 to 2008 when I had collected a good number of classic albums, jewel case, insert/liner notes everything in place. The joy of listening to the music and at the same time going through the crisp liner notes is hard to describe, really. It just does not compare with listening to a bunch of files on a computer or mp3 player. I had a whole 4-tier metal CD rack stacked with albums arranged alphabetically by the artist’s last name or band name. Yes I liked to be quite organized with that stuff. It was a fun hobby.
But then things changed. I had to change jobs and not just that, I had to change my whole geographical location. So then I needed to figure out a way to transport all these CDs safely to another country without having to pay an arm and a leg for the total weight. There was no other way than to transfer all CDs and liner notes into 2 huge binders and throw away all the jewel cases. That was not fun. I’m not a big fan of keeping stuff in binders, cos then it is difficult to insert any new CDs into the same alphabetically arranged order… unless you rearrange all following CDs after the new one (which is time-consuming and pretty dumb) or add some new pockets in between which will leave blank spaces here and there. But I had no other choice. Either I get rid of all my CDs or I put them in binders. So binders it was. I had everything copied into iTunes anyway so it was not a huge train-smash, though as I said it just doesn’t feel the same listening from a computer.
Anyway, after that there was a time when I tried to further cut down the collection. I chucked out most of the ‘Greatest Hits’ CDs cos I have all these songs in the computer anyway. And some of them I even had the original albums for. I only kept a few that had interesting liner notes. Eventually I chucked them out as well. Honestly, how often does one look at liner notes when listening to music these days??… although it feels nice to keep ‘em.
About 6 to 8 months back, we were planning to visit home, as in India. So I thought about it and drastically cut down my CD collection to only the best of the best and/or the albums with the best liner notes. The thought process was that – Eventually if and when we decided to move to another place, I’m going to have to carry this weight again! So, further reduction made sense. Once again, everything was in the computer anyway. I actually managed to reduce 2 huge binders into only 1. With a heavy heart I left that other binder at my parents’ place and consoled myself that at least I am not throwing those CDs out.
Maybe that is the answer. When one’s possessions get too big and unmanageable, one simply leaves the bulk of them at their home base. But what good are your possessions if they are not available with you for you to enjoy them? I know that I am taking this way more seriously than many of you would. But it is just that my music collection means a lot to me. There doesn’t seem to be any simple answer to this one. Either have a big house with lots of possessions and never move anywhere, or keep travelling towards the next opportunity and keep minimum baggage. Sigh!