Phillumenist: Collecting Match Books

If you are considering becoming a member of a very elite group of individuals known as Phillumenists then you will become one of many who participate in the hobby of collecting matchbook covers, boxes, holders, folders, or strikers. 

If you are a collector of match products there is a lot of history lying about in those old covers and containers. Match boxes have long been a means of advertising and promoting a business, community, event, people, ideas, and ideals.The cover of match packets discuss serious issues as well as comical ones and boldly display a lot of history on their weathered covers.

Phillumeny is a unique hobby that is quite easy to enter into because finding items to collect is easy. Most people have a number of old matchbooks lying in drawers, boxes, camping or fishing kits, or the glove box of their vehicle. Everyone has them somewhere in their home and many of these have been there since you were a kid. You just have to discover where they are hiding and then gather them together to be categorized. Often time match boxes are an item that you already collect but just don't realize it.

Ask friends, family, and relatives to dig through their desks and drawers to see what they can come up with for you. Put an add in a local paper asking others to dig up old match covers that they can pass along to you. If you are part of a community club or group ask the members if they are willing to contribute or trade items. You just may be quite surprised by the interesting collection of matchbox items that you can quickly acquire.

If you are haunting out garage sales explain to the homeowner that you collect matchbook covers and are searching for them. Many people will happily go into the house to see if they can come up with a few for you to add to your collection. Simply by asking others what they might have you may be pleasantly surprised by the interesting finds you come up with to add into your collection.

The largest question may be which area you are going to specialize in? Lets face it, there are about gazillion match items out there so you are going to have to narrow that field down just a smidge to choose one or two areas to focus in. Matchbook covers, boxes, holders, folders, or strikers are specific areas you might choose to collect in. The first step in becoming a Phillumenist is deciding what type of matchbook item you are going to collect.

You could decide which area or items you are going to collect simply by discovering which ones you find most interesting or which items you find most easy to acquire. Your collection could also begin simply because you accidentally stumble upon a rare find and it dictates the direction your collection will take.

Then comes the exciting task of discovering the value of your collectibles and to find other collectors with the same interests as yourself. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your items and also a chance to purchase or trade finds with other members of the group. It also gives you the opportunity to pick up valuable tips from those with more experience. Once you have a few reasonable finds acquired then your next move will be to join a phillumeny club or match collecting group.

Collecting is always more fun when you get to discuss your hobby with others who are just as passionate about their collectibles as you are yours. You can advertise in your local paper for other collectors within your area or go online to search out an online group to join.

Acquiring new items and selling or trading old ones is all part of collecting. Online action sites such as eBay are always an area where collectors should be looking for items that they want to collect or sell and matchbook cover collections are no exception to this rule. The Internet offers collectors an absolutely indispensable tool for seeking out items for a hobby. Use it to your advantage. 

When seeking out your desired collectible search under categories similar to what you are searching for. The more related terms you can find the better as there may be an item there that someone else has missed. Smoking, tobacciana, lighters, fire starters, and match strikers. 
Most importantly remember to have fun with your collection because that is what collecting really is all about. It is the enjoyment you receive from your hobby that make it worth while. Collect what you love and love what you collect.

Related Articles by Lorelei Cohen