OK, this one falls well into the category of “First World Problems.” Even so, I’ve got a minor dilemma I’ve been going back and forth on and thought I’d share it with you guys in a “thinking out loud” kinda way.
My kids are entering prime comic-reading age. My daughter’s turning 10 and my son will be 8 in a couple of months. Both have exhibited an interest in reading comics and I’ve managed to to amass a nice little collection for them in the last two years. As a somewhat obsessive collector/fanboy type, the question for me is, do I bag their books or leave them loose?
Sounds like a non-problem, right? If you’re not a big comic reader/collector, you probably asked, “Who cares?” Well, here’s the thing…I’ve noticed with my kids that a near-mint condition comic will deteriorate in their little hands quicker than a Nazi with a faux Holy Grail…
Kids don’t tend to be real worried about the condition of their comics. I don’t think I even saw a comic bag & board until I was in my 20’s. As a kid, I got my books from a teenager down the street for 1/2 off cover price (40 cents at the time!) and the local drug stores. I kept my books stacked on a bookshelf, and while I never rolled one up and jammed it in my back pocket, I was known to stuff them in a backpack like a shoplifting crackhead with a bad case of the munchies. For me. it was all about the characters and the story, not spine roll and bent corners.
And I want my kids to love comics the same way–as fun, not an investment. But, and you knew there was a “but,” the inner collector in me cringes whenever I see them treating a $2.99 comic like it grew on a tree in the backyard. I’d like to think they’ll develop the same love for comics that I have and will keep these books for their own children. That’s gonna be tough if they don’t take some kind of care of them.
As I write this, the answer to my own question seems pretty obvious. I’m not going to bag and board them. While I embrace the concept, I don’t want them to think these comics are going to make them rich one day. And I certainly don’t want them to be afraid to pick one up for fear Dad is gonna freak out if they wrinkle the cover.
One thing we’ve always tried to instill in our kids is that they should take care of their things. In today’s age of disposable everything, we’re constantly reminding them to treat their belongings, their rooms, etc. with care and respect. Stuff and the money to buy said stuff doesn’t grow on trees.
After sorting and organzing my own collection last month, I’ve got about three short boxes worth of books for the kids. We’re gonna sit down and I’ll dole some of those out, then we’ll have a talk about how comics books are for fun, not financing your retirement. But they’re also made out of paper, not Kevlar, so hey, let’s be gentle with em. Hopefully they’ll take care of their books and one day pass them on to their kids. Hopefully. But I gotta tell you, that rare 1st printing of Adventure Time #1…maybe I’ll bag up just that book…
Thanks for stopping by and as always…stay nerdy my friends.
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