We all have our rare, peculiar hobbies. One hobby I’ve had for more years than I can remember is the collecting of matchbooks. When I was a teenager I started picking up matchbooks from my favorite restaurants. When our family went on vacation I really “racked up.”
My dad began aiding the collection by picking up matchbooks when he traveled on business to “exotic” locations like Arkansas and Atlanta. He soon told his colleagues about my peculiar habit and soon I was scoring matchbooks from restaraunts all over the world. I have some famous locations (Cheers! in Boston) and some rather odd pieces (an oversized pack featuring Ronald Reagan’s face on a $100 bill). When I was living overseas, I collected a few rare finds as well (a “Stop AIDS” matchbook from Gomel, Belarus being one of the most peculiar).
What do I do with my matches? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I have them in a large shoebox and a small tin. Maybe someday I’ll find a way to display them better, and maybe not. The other day I did find, however, that blogger James Lileks has a pretty good and interesing collection on his website. Take a look. In the meantime, if you need a light, call somebody else—matchbooks aren’t worth much if the matches are used!