Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Time To Pause: Michael Korda and Marking Time

Many people are familiar with the author, Michael Korda and his books such as Power! How to Get It, How to Use It (1975) or Horse People (2009).  As a librarian, I am particularly fond of his Making the List:  A Cultural History of the American Bestseller, 1900-1999 (2001). 

However, since starting this blog in January 2014, I have discovered another of his works, Marking TIME: Collecting Watches—and Thinking about Time (New York:  Barnes & Noble Books, 2004).  It’s a real gem, or should I say cabochon!  It has just the right take on time, sensible yet strikingly passionate in its discussion on watches, collecting, and being taken in by time.

Two passages absolutely captured where I am in my journey as this blog’s writer.  I’m sharing them with you, even if you are not enamored by watches, let alone wristwatches or think you are not interested in collections or collecting.

 “A collection, whatever its nature, not only comforts and pleases, but stabilizes, pins the collector down in time and space, anchors him, so to speak, and provides a readily available source of order and purpose, even during moments when life is at its most meaningless and difficult.” (p.110)

“The key to collecting is desire, the desire to possess certain specific objects that stimulate our interest, our fantasies, or our preconceptions about beauty.  But desire alone is not enough; desire must be accompanied by a strong sense of personal choice, a reason to pick or value one object instead of another, an informed choice of period, style, and aesthetics, a certain structure and order.” (p. 110)

One of my ongoing goals is to decide what it is in the world of wristwatches that will define my collection, if I move on to collecting. 
Do either or both of these passages resonant with you?  If so, let me know how and what you decided to collect whether it be related to horology or another area you enjoy.

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