Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Rant About OLD Things.

You know what really grinds my gears? When you go to a flea market to pick up some old books for crafting and the people around you (who don't know you and have never met you before) cry out with: 

"But it's an OLD book - those are worth so much money!". 

Steam comes out of my ears every time I hear this. You know what? They aren't. If it's a well known author or book - like Anne of Green Gables - I'm not going to cut it up. But if it's a dusty old Canadian History book from 1914 - that doesn't make it worth $15.00. It's going to sit in the flea market until someone wants it - I wanted to give it new life. New meaning. "Oh, how could you possibly cut up this book?! It's an OLD book - you should only cut up NEW ones."


The conversation (which was essentially just this random old lady complaining about my purposes, who neither ran the store nor knew me) went on with her saying "WELL! I watch Antiques Roadshow and these types of books people always bring some pages and they end up telling the person it would only be worth money if they had the whole book.".

(It looked nothing like these beauties)

People think their shit doesn't stink. Just because something is OLD - does NOT mean it's worth a lot of money. I hate that people think this. And I'm sorry - but I don't give a rats arse if you watch Antiques Roadshow. You see those people in the background who never make it front and center on TV? Yeah - that's because everyone is now under the impression that they've got this AMAZING gem of an old candy dish or Oprah Winfrey's left nostril hair. The lady then proceeded to check carefully all over the book (starting in the back) because "It could be a first edition!!"

I once bought an 11th edition (1911) Anne of Avonlea book at the local thrift shop for a quarter - I sold it on ebay for over a hundred bucks. I know the value of things. I can tell when something has the possibility of being worth big bucks, or if something is better being re purposed. Why is this so hard for everyone else to grasp?

(This one is NOT the one I found - it is a first edition and worth 22,000.00)

I have a sneaky feeling that the people on the other side of my argument are the same people who watch TV shows like the afore mentions Antiques Roadshow - or Pawnstars, Auction Hunters, Antique Hunters....and anything else of that ilk. People seem to skip over the parts of these shows where things aren't worth anything - or are perhaps fake and jump whole-heartedly into the belief that the stuff in their basement is a magical beacon of money, just waiting to be found.

This is not the first time something like this has happened to me. Another example: I was at a garage sale some years back and some stamps caught my eye. I like to use stamps in paper crafting (I'm talking about the lick and stick sort - not the ink pad sort). This fellow had a bucket full of stamps, still on the papers from the letters they had been torn from. I think he wanted like $50 for them. I asked him why so much - the response I got was something akin to: "Well they're stamps - I heard someone found a stamp once worth a couple hundred bucks once. So I think $50 is pretty fair."

He knew nothing about stamps, not their worth nor history - nor which type to look out for - and yet he assumed the ones he had must have a gem of some sort - some mismarked, misprinted treasure that he was going to let ME discover.

I did not end up with the book - or the stamps.  I'm sure the book will sit, collecting dust for months...or the back room of a dingy flea market. Why? Because it's a book written in 1914 about history in Canada.

As crafters, we have the ingenuity and gumption to find beauty and use in things that most other people cannot. Don't belittle us for it. And if you're going to argue with people who want to repurpose something - at least know what you're talking about. You work at an antique book shop? Well then - please, let me learn from you. A degree, however, in watching a couple episodes of a TV show - does not make you an expert.

End rant.

No comments:

Post a Comment