When we lived in Iowa, Sarah and I used to go to a little coffee shop called Vinyl Cafe. It was tiny – only a few tables – but they were opinionated about espresso and had delicious breakfast tacos. They also had records, and old turntables.
Until that point in my life, I had kind of looked down my nose at people who purchased media in dead formats. I'm a technologist at heart, and although I wasn't always interested in the latest and greatest like some, it seemed obvious that digital music was an incredible improvement over older formats. It was high fidelity, incredibly portable, and cheap (or free, if you knew where to look).
All those rational arguments aside, I found myself drawn to the records at Vinyl Cafe. They had some really good stuff that I recognized, and somehow the large-format cover art made it so much cooler. One day they had some new (old) turntables in stock, and one caught my eye. Zenith. Solid State. The volume knob was labeled "Loudness." I had to have it.
The rest is history, really. I can't pinpoint what I love about listening to records, but it has something to do with the analog aspect. It's deeply personal, and it doesn't involve so much as a glance at my phone. When we have company, I spend 10 minutes beforehand picking out stuff I think they'll enjoy. It's just... nice, in the same way that candlelight is nice. Comforting.
I'm not a serious collector, but I do love digging through crates of dusty records looking for anything that seems interesting. At $4 or $5 a pop, it's a small price to pay for broadening my musical horizons and maybe finding a gem.
Anyway, here's my small collection. It's a work in progress but I'm proud of it all the same.