Cult of less (vinyl)

I find myself fascinated by one of the recent memes doing the rounds, apparently sparked by a BBC article on the 'cult of less', the idea that you can vastly minimise the amount of stuff you have by selling off, say, your tv, cd's and books and replacing them all with digital media. Those who take it farthest don't apparently need furniture either. Those who take it really far don't need a roof over their head.

Although I wouldn't go that far, I'm sort of fascinated. I've written before about the appeal of reducing the vast load of Stuff I own, although sentimentality and a certain possessiveness prevents me from ever selling the vast majority of my books (I think 'prised only from my cold, dead hands' is apposite here). Even so, it's entirely possible myself and Emma might choose to go back over to Taipei at some point for a good long while. Maybe. We haven't really decided yet. If that does happen, all those books go into a couple of big boxes and stored somewhere, which is kind of a pain in the ass. It's not that easy to be sentimentally attached to something stored in a box in a dark corner somewhere several thousand miles away.

Which brings me to something I might have mentioned before (or maybe haven't), that being the decision to finally sell my old collection of vinyl records, most probably in a single chunk to a local record dealer. I've no idea how much I might get for them - we're talking 500 records at an absolute minimum, possibly closer to 600-650 (all lp's, apart from a couple of twelve-inch singles). Knowing my luck, it would be a laughable pittance.

On the other hand, I no longer value them nearly as much as I do my books. I've converted the vast majority to MP3 format, so it's not like I'm losing the music. Plus, when I thought about it I realised I hadn't actually played any of the physical, vinyl items for getting on, ooh, let's see...fifteen years. In fact apart from the 'dronezone' channel on Soma FM, I've pretty much stopped listening to anything at all. If I'm not writing, I'm browsing the net, or reading, or watching a DVD. Or socialising. And if I really want to check out a piece of music, I can just head to grooveshark.com.

Nonetheless, I've had those records for a long time. There are Hawkwind gatefold sleeves. More than a dozen Black Sabbath albums. The first Jane's Addiction album with the cover that caused record shops to force the band's label to hide it inside a ribbed rubber sleeve. ZZ Top. A crapload of stuff, frankly, all sitting unloved in the cupboard next to my front door. Better, I think, they all wound up with someone who might actually play them from time to time (and remember, I have them all in MP3).

I still have to sort them out into two piles - those I want to sell (95%), and those I won't just yet, at least not until I've resolved the sneaking suspicion they might actually be worth something resembling real money (I'm talking the first Budgie album here).

I may post pictures of the exhumation.


Unknown said...

I had to do the same thing when we moved down to Irvine - hadda ditch the vast majority of the vinyl, as there just isnt the room. Hell of a wrench. Took them to that exchange place next to the Tron and yes, got a pittance for roughly 600 albums (got perhaps 140 quid?). I still have my 7" singles and the 12s, and a handful of albums, but STILL nothing to play the things on. And space restrictions are still an issue. But hey, mp3s etc are damned convenient. Old tech doesnt necessarily become obsolete and worthless overnight, but kind of merges into a patchwork of possible formats. If ya got ths space and the format decoders ;-)

Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

It always comes down to space, which is why I'm so glad I got an e-ink reader - you might want to consider one too. You end up reading *more*, but it doesn't take up any space (and you can write it off against tax, remember). Kindle's the best bet right now.

At least I've got a mental guide now for how much I might get for my vinyl. I guess £140 is better than nothing. Like I say, it's all on my hard drive anyway.

Monk said...

Hey Gary, I'm a rock DJ specialising in vinyl, and I might be interested in taking some of that lot off your hands (and not for the pittance a dealer would give you). I usually pay about £5 - £8 at dealers for secondhand stuff, depending on its condition, so would be willing to pay you buyers rate (or do you a deal for a bulk amount). Check out my Facebook at www.facebook.com/paradisecitybelfast for details of my club to see what the club is all about... My email is paradisecitybelfast@gmail.com if you want to send me a list of what you looking to clear out...