My weird sickness, or hobby if you will

Craig Shultz
Madrid Register-News Editor

Hobbies can be a weird thing. Can be. It all depends on what someone enjoys doing. There are model cars to put together, knitting, painting or a myriad of other things. There is really no limit as to what a hobby could be considered to be.

There are people who collect everything White Castle so nothing is really off limits. Also I’ve never actually had White Castle.

My friends, my dear readers, my hobby is a borderline expensive one. In the days of plenty of streaming services, I have a bit of an old soul. I grew up during a time where if you wanted a movie, like many of you, I had to go to a store to buy it physically.

There was no way to sit at home and just watch a movie on TV unless you had cable or a dish. And after about fourth grade, I had none of that. Just the five channels with the bunny ears. I remember having a pretty large collection of VHS tapes.

If I would have known they’d be out of style in 2022, I might have kept a few just as a reminder of my childhood. Plus some of the artwork on the cover was just amazing.

So my big hobby is collecting physical media, specifically in the form of blu-rays, 4Ks and DVDs. I don’t have a 4K player, but most of them come with a blu-ray copy so I might as well build a small army of those while I can.

Some people think it’s weird I collect for a physical format in the age of streaming services. Friends question why I do it. Sometimes I even question why I do it.

Part of it comes from just the small thrill you get when you find something you’ve been looking for. The joy of picking up a movie you haven’t thought of in years.

Let’s be honest too. While streaming services are pretty great in their own ways, it can get equally expensive per month if someone was to have Netflix, Hulu, HBOMax, Paramount Plus and so on. Then you have to worry about a potential data cap on your internet provider.

The joy of collecting physical media comes from not having to worry about some of that. While I don’t have every movie ever created, I do have a good amount of movies and TV shows on the three formats listed above.

And yes, it can get expensive at times, unless you have a set of rules to follow for collecting physical media like I do.

The biggest rule I have is kind of smart. Don’t buy at full price or when a movie/TV show comes out. There are some exceptions to this rule for something I’d really like to get such as Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Otherwise, just wait a few months and it’ll be around $15 or so. Or wait for a good sale from a big box store or even Amazon. Though I prefer going to a brick and mortar building for hunting. Recently, Best Buy had a good sale and I got some titles that looked interesting for really good prices.

It’s a fun feeling being able to pick up a case and look at it in person instead of on a computer screen. I feel like we’ve lost some of that in general in mainstreet.

My second rule is scour the thrift stores in the area. This could mean Goodwill, Salvation Army or any other second hand store. Even pawn shops can have a good selection of movies. Most of them are common titles but that’s fine. You can find some hidden gems in the thrift store. I love being able to find classic titles from the 50’s and 60’s in Goodwill.

Another rule I have, and I’ve only broken this one once, is do not buy duplicates on the same format. So if you have a copy of let’s say The Hurt Locker on blu-ray, don’t get it again in a steelbook form.

Again, I’ve done this once and it was when the Street Fighter steelbook came out because sometimes you just need to treat yourself.

If your collection gets big enough, making a referral list isn’t a terrible idea either. I have one. Only bought the same movie twice by accident once.

So this is my hobby. How I like to spend my free time. Buying and watching movies on my physical collection and through streaming services. Might even do a top movie column at some point.


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