So you collect old newspapers!

September 22, 2008 by · 24 Comments 

In social situations when asked “What do you do?” I have to be careful how I respond. I’ve learned through experience that stating: “I’m a dealer in rare newspapers” is usually responded to with a pause, then “What?”, followed by a ten minute discussion on just what I do.

Being quick to get the questioner beyond the thought that I’m in the recycling business or that I clip interesting articles upon request, my more detailed response invariably intrigues and fascinates and seldom ends up being a short conversation. There is often a hint of pity in their voice & expression, thinking I have yet to find meaningful employment. But when I mention there are five full-time and several part-time employees, interest in the occupation piques.

If I don’t have the time or interest in a lengthy conversation I’ve at times answered with “I’m an antiques dealer”, which although truthful is also a bit evasive, however it’s also an answer others can understand with limited interrogation.

You, being a collector of rare newspapers, might have had similar experiences when speaking to others about your hobby. Do you have any interesting stories?