What’s my perfect collection look like? Diversity, uniqueness, and quality would make me feel the proudest about owning such a materialistically ephemeral collection. Those three factors must, then, guide my future collecting intentions because I know I’ll get more CDs. Is it merely enough to say that I want to focus on quality over quantity?
I think I’ll use a secondary system, alongside CDZEAL: DUQ
Does the CD add Diversity to my collection? I learned probably 11 years ago that there’s music from all over the world. As much as I enjoy rock music and videogame soundtracks, I’ve been obsessed with filling in as many little dots on my music globe as I can. In past years, not so much, but still, a good thing about this search is that it’s encouraged me to listen to music outside of my comfort zone.
I’ve found plenty of “hidden gems” this way.
Does the CD add Uniqueness to my collection? While I do like to collect discographies for bands I really like, if I don’t listen to some of their albums, then there’s no point in owning it. This will help me cut out the most lackluster CDs later on. If I don’t listen to something often, it’s probably not any different than anything else I could be listening to instead; whether unheard or well-enjoyed.
I’ll usually limit myself to spin an album once a month for this reason.
Does the CD add Quality to my collection? By this, I don’t mean the external “quality” synonymous with some classic CD that’s historically been critically acclaimed. Rather, I should see the CD on the shelf and more often feel like listening to it than not. If it’s just something I see and either subconsciously cringe at or skip over often when I’m looking for anything to listen to, then it should go.
CDZEAL or DUQ should help the intake of new CDs.
I also feel like every time I listen to a CD, I should be the slightest bit critical of it. If I can only listen to a CD once or twice before I get bored of it, then why should I still own it? The cost of purchasing it doesn’t justify the cost of real estate within my collection. That’s where – in the pictorial abstraction of my perfect collection – the center space is the landing spot for new CDs and recently spin CDs.
I should catalog everything before I put it away.
That might seem like an obvious statement, but even today, I found myself with two examples: one CD I’d filed away without tracking it and another I hadn’t tracked at all. I’m feeling ill today, which is usually the best time to catalog and inventory items – when I don’t physically feel like doing anything more substantial – but that, too, is a balance that leads to maybe weekly cataloging?
Still, a physical collection this size takes time to maintain.
I enjoy the process.
I enjoy these objects and what they represent.
|Sources: My personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Originally this essay was going to be about limiting the intake of new CDs while still buying them at shows and whatnot, but the premise was weak: I’ll never stop adding new CDs to my collection. Even before this move, I was swimming in a dissatisfying saturation point, I know now that I must be more responsible. That doesn’t mean I won’t pick up a free CD sampler at the next festival I attend, or won’t buy the latest CD from a band I love at a show. It’s just a matter of asking: “How many times will I listen to this CD?”|
|Related: Other Moving Zeal essays.
— CD essays:
01. Albums: Move, Sell?
02. Luxury of Ownership
03. “Close Enough” Lumpings
04. Last Heard: Pre-Cataloging
05. Album Sorting Algorithms
06. Slow to Unearth
07. Declutter Then Alphabetize
08. Your Music Donations
09. Space Between Cataloging
10. Meticulously Studying Ownership
11. Packing To Perfection
12. Controlling Chaos Decisively
13. Physical versus Ephemeral
14. Trade It All?
15. Power Through It
16. My Perfect Collection
|Picture: Random colors for red/green. I switched to black/white for the CD spines because most of the CDs I own have black spines, it seems, followed by white. This shelving unit would also be nice because I could line up all my CDs in one spot. I’ve been using a DVD shelf for my CDs for years, and though acceptable, it doesn’t quite fit the form factor enough for me. I’ll build another.|
|Written On: January 21st [1 hour]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft.|