Reading Monte Reel's recent New York Times article, "The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who's Buying Up All the World's Vinyl Records," was a chore for me. The facts are this: Zero Freitas is busily buying up as many record collections as he can. He started collecting records as a child, by age 30 he had 30,000 records, but now at 62 he's amassed so many records he has no idea how many millions he owns. He does know that he has 1,793 copies of the "Roberto Carlos Sings to the Children" album, so I think that definitely qualifies Freitas as a hoarder!
Freitas is an extreme case, but I've known lots of record collectors, and most of them aren't particularly interested in listening to the music, and don't own a halfway decent turntable. No, collectors are satisfied with just coveting records, and putting together a "complete" collection. Then again, collectors of cars, guns, books, dolls, or whatever suits their fancy are mostly obsessed with the chase -- tracking down the rarest or most valuable specimens.
A few years ago I went to a wealthy record collector's home, and he proudly showed off his Beatles "White Album," with a 0000001 serial number! I lost my original copy many years ago. I'm sure mine was in the high hundreds of thousands, but when my LP was new it probably sounded exactly like the collector's ultra valuable copy. He never listens to his White Album, so it's in perfect shape.
I have over 8,000 LPs and CDs, but I'm not a collector. I've listened to all of my records at least two times, many of them dozens of times, and I've played some hundreds of times. When I dig out an album I haven't heard in years and play it, if I don't like it enough to ever want to play it again, I'll give it to someone, sell it, or throw it away. Right now, I have a pile of records and CDs in that category -- every month or two I get rid of all of them. Then I go out and buy more records and CDs.
Nowadays, anyone can access millions of tunes with a Spotify subscription, but I'm sure Freitas' collection includes thousands of rare LPs and singles that you'll never hear on a streaming service. Spotify users miss out on the tactile pleasures of holding a record jacket in their hands, the satisfying feel of sliding a LP out of the inner sleeve, and putting the vinyl on the turntable platter. That's not something I'd ever want to give up.
If you're a record collector share your thoughts in the comments section.