This past weekend I went to a comic show, not as a buyer but as a seller. I have seven short boxes (Exterior L 15.75 X W 7.5 X H 10.75) full of comics, six of which are just the premium books I kept after the last sell off two years ago. I also had/have about 100lbs of Magic the Gathering (MTG) cards. I use pounds since I have no idea how many there are, just a lot! I had made the decision to travel lighter through life, not to be defined by my things as a good friend put it so eloquently. So I took some time, got it all organized and headed to Dallas on a cold Sunday morning to see if I could find them some new homes.
I had resolved to get rid of them “no matter what”. I had a little sign saying “make me an offer”. I was ready to go. As one would expect, one of the other sellers there was the first to come by and eventually make the first purchase. What I was most surprised at was the slightly queasy feeling in my stomach as I was handed the cash and I handed over the books. Wasn’t I mentally and physically prepared for this? I mean, the darn things just sat in my closet for the last two years doing nothing for me. I have not read them or even taken them out to look at them.
As the day drew on, very few people came through, but I did have one guy with a spiral bound notebook. carefully detailing all the Wolverine comics he had and what he needed. As luck would have it, that is the character I had specialized in for my collection. I had a very complete collection including the entire regular monthly series, many of the mini and key appearances. The gentleman pulled a few books, we haggled. He left, came back and he walked away happy. I even overheard him speaking with the event organizer about how happy he was that the show had been done and what a great deal he got (he really did). I was relieved at least that those few books were going into an appreciated collection.
Of all the people there, I probably walked away with the most cash. Not because I am a great salesman, but because I was willing to let it go regardless of my personal loss. Driving home, I was pretty exhausted even though I was sitting the entire day. After thinking about it, it made sense. I have invested a lot of time, energy and money into the collection. It has defined me to some extent. Letting it go was hard. It still is since I have most of the collection to sell. But I feel better about it. As I am going through with my decision, it is getting easier. While I cannot understand fully why so many people hang on to so much stuff, I do understand that getting rid of things can be emotional, at least of some level, and that makes the whole exercise both that much more difficult and rewarding.