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5                        The Missing Piece from a Collection

Whether it is coins, stamps, autographs of a team of players, or samples of the State Gem from all fifty of the United States --- whatever one is trying to collect, getting many of them is one kind of success but completing the set may be more important. Where there is a well defined set of six, for example, getting hold of the first five is a kind of groundwork; nothing in the preliminaries is the same kind of triumphant moment as when you get hold of #6 and complete the set.

    "If we consider collecting, it is impossible not to be struck with the fact that on account of this passion there are accumulated often completely worthless things ... absolutely no value other than the gratification of the propensity to collect. He (the collector) may become a laughing-stock, a butt of ridicule, a criminal, he may suppress his fundamental needs, all for the sake of his collection." So wrote the famous psychologist Pavlov, as quoted by Nicholas Humphrey (and shortened by me, I have left out a few words).



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