I enjoy digging through some of my older posts on this blog.
Whether it's to read through a few older comments, to see just how much my writing style has changed, or to simply make sure I'm not repeating myself, I do it quite often.
Sometimes, reading my older material can get those creative juices flowing again.
Earlier this week, I came across an earlier post of mine, one that chronicled my unexplainable willingness to collect players I don't even like.
One notable omission from that list was Carlos Zambrano. Although he has admittedly had some pretty neat cards over the years, I could never explain exactly why I continue to buy cards of his. Of all the Cubs I've watched over the years, "Big Z" might well be my least favorite.
Fittingly, I entitled that post "Living with An Addiction". I'm not sure what else I could've called the phenomenon.
When I refer to this hobby as an "addiction", I'm really only half-kidding.
There were quite a few things I failed to mention in that post, reasons that go a whole lot further than simply collecting guys like Zambrano or Melky Cabrera.
This is one of those topics that I could go on and on about. This hobby is indeed an "addiction" on a number of levels.
However, I've managed to whittle the list down as much as possible.
Taking from my personal experience, you might be a cardboard addict if...
...you start buying things for no apparent reason.
From what I've shown and written on this blog, I'm sure a lot of what I collect appears to be for "no apparent reason".
In my head, almost all of it makes sense. If I had to, I'm sure I could create a set list of who and what I collect.
It would take a long, long time, though.
Still, I can't come up with a good reason why I decided to purchase a Timo Perez card from a dime box at last month's show. I don't even collect him.
When it surfaced among the day's finds, I thought, "Why the heck did I buy this one?"
Your guess is as good as mine.
You might be a cardboard addict if you start buying cards you already have.
As vast as my collection might be, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp of it. My fairly keen photographic memory is certainly beneficial to that.
Even with my good memory and easy-to-remember organizational process, I find myself coming home with a few accidental doubles after every show.
Unbeknownst to me, this Ryan Church card was already in my collection when I snagged it from a dime box last month.
It's a common tale.
In keeping with the card show theme, many collectors know how much work can go into one's collection during and after a successful show. (Not to mention the amount of money we spend sometimes.)
At the show, it's quite the experience. Walking, sitting down, digging through some cards, hoping the day's finds don't spill out of your bag. Repeat.
The "after-show" is even more challenging.
Sorting, filing, organizing.
I just got done filing away my "finds" from two weeks ago into my alphabetical system of binders.
Putting away that last Yankee card this afternoon seemed a long way from where I started off two weeks ago, back with Nolan Ryan and the Angels.
I've spent lots and lots of time into organizing all my cards over the years.
Like with any "addiction", I try to rationalize it.
"I've put as much time into my cards than anyone else my age does into video games."
That makes me feel a little better.
I mean, what else am I going to do with my free time?
You might be a cardboard addict if the "little things" start to bother you.
For years, this Rollie Fingers Archives reprint has stared up at me from my Brewers binder.
Although I'm certainly happy to own it, I've never been able to track down the actual version. The omission is a gaping hole in my "sunset" collection.
I have almost every card I need from the '86 set.
Not this one, though. Not this one.
As a result, my entire Brewers binder just doesn't seem right with this glaring gap.
I'm still waiting for that fateful day.
The day when my Rollie Fingers "sunset" collection becomes complete.
You might be a cardboard addict if you have useless bits of information about your collection rolling around in your head.
"I need four more cards to complete my 2007 SP Legendary Cuts 'Legendary Americana' insert set."
"I should really find something from 1951 Bowman for my collection."
"I have nine different cards of Eddie Collins in a White Sox uniform."
It's all there.
And it won't go away.
No matter how hard I try.
You might be a cardboard addict if you start planning your calendar around major card-related events.
I have finals this week.
I also have a card show coming up on the 15th.
Which one do I find myself thinking about more?
That's right. The card show.
Don't get me wrong. I never put cards ahead of school or anything else of the sort. I've done my fair share of studying these last few days.
It's just that I've been having a certain train of thought lately.
"I can't wait until these damn finals are over. Then, I can finally start focusing on this great card show coming up."
Maybe I'll finally track down that elusive 1972 Topps Bill Lee I need. It'd look great next to the '75 "Spaceman" in my Red Sox binder...
Wait. I shouldn't be thinking about that now.
I have a psychology final tomorrow.
Finally, you might be a cardboard addict if you find yourself writing about them on a regular basis.
In a way, all of us in the blogosphere are indeed "cardboard addicts".
I know I am.
If something happens and I don't get to blog on a certain day, everything just feels out of whack. Blogging has become a physical need for me.
I need to get these thoughts out on a daily basis.
Whether it's writing about card-related memories from my childhood, reviewing a new set, or simply noting the dizzying angle of this Dave Stewart card, blogging is now a part of me.
Before, I was Nick, collector of baseball cards.
Now, I am Nick, collector of baseball cards and proud blogger.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of other reasons you might be a cardboard addict.
If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, call your local medical...
Actually, don't worry.
It's normal for us collectors. Be proud of it.
Ah, what the heck.
I'll say it.
I am a cardboard addict.