Unpacking

After reading Unpacking my Library I understood for the first time how does a collector feel and why does he feel like that thanks to Benjamin. This has undoubtedly been a very nice piece that explains us his feelings respecting his books, or his collection. Benjamin has a special bond with each of the books he purchased through his life. The author personal feelings with each of them as every single on of them has a different story for being on his shelves. Benjamin describes the act of the collection as “possession”, that’s what drives collectors crazy. They want to have their own and unique possessions, that no one else have. Benjamin didn’t read all the books he owned, but he loved the story after each of them as well as the experience he went through in order to obtain it.

On the other hand, Unpacking my record collection describes the experience of sharing his personal records collection with the whole world. This piece is a response to Unpacking my library that creates a great contrast between the way both authors feel regarding their collections. While Benjamin wants it to be completely private and unique, Julian Dibbell re-encounters his passion for collecting by sharing his own collection with other people and at the same time amplifying his collection by downloading other peoples’ tracks. Julian’s main concern is how would have Benjamin felt about Napster and if he would have considered Julian’s collection a “collection”.

It’s very interesting how two different people categorize two completely different ways of obtaining their possessions under the same taxon. Moreover, they both had different ways of satisfaction. Has the Internet shifted our definition of collection and ways of obtaining it?

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