03 Record store CopenhagenIf you’re hit by a bus tomorrow what’s going to happen to your music collection? And your books, your photographs, the art of your walls and indeed, your stereo system? An email from a reader got me thinking about this. “I am knocking 90 and not so avid of late,” a guy named John wrote. “I have a few in-good-condition vinyls which I’d like to pass on to an enthusiast – free to good home.”

It made me look at my own treasured collection of vinyl and wonder what I’ll do with it when I’m knocking 90 and not so avid. I was able to put John in touch with a one-eyed enthusiast in his area that will give his vinyl very possibly the best care it could get outside a museum. Like John, I’d hate to think of my records being picked over at a garage sale at two bucks each, I’d much rather have them go to a good home free of charge.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Buy Nothing project, which operates through community groups throughout the world and finds enthusiastic homes for the stuff you don’t want. And you get to pick who gets your stuff. I’d love to see a similar idea that specialised in vinyl. And stereo equipment, which usually has very low resale value anyway.

It’s the same with my books and lots of other little treasures that while I value dearly, others would toss into a skip bin.

Of course there are plenty of retailers who specialise in vinyl music and buy up collections like mine, and put price tags on them that will ensure they only go to people who will take good care of them, but then I’d kind of like my vinyl to go to people who are unfamiliar with what’s on it and who have every chance of experiencing a wow moment when they hear it.

The idea of swapping vinyl has come up in several on-line forums but there’s a substantial speed bump, as put so succinctly by one respondent; “The people I’d let even touch my records, I can count them on one hand and have fingers left over.” Another suggested loaning vinyl would bring all sorts of problems, the main one being, just how do you get it back.

How about a vinyl library as part of the local lending library? It would be a good way to find a home for your treasured vinyl collection, but ensuring users care for it is the bug.

Maybe I’ll just have to take my best vinyl to the grave with me. Should I include a turntable?


Posted February 2020.


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