Doug Works Out Your Psychological Problems

Hi Doug,

I have a problem that I'm hoping you can help me with. I just came across your Mad Cover Site and truly enjoy it.

My problem is this. I have a fairly large collection of Mad magazines and books. Included in the book list is an excellent copy of the Incredibly Expensive Mad (with all extras still attached) a copy of Mad Forever, a copy of Mad For Keeps (both in excellent condition except for the covers), several pocket books, and an assortment of other books that aren't that rare (Good Days and Mad, Here's Mad in Your Eye, Mad About the 60s and books like that).

I also have around a couple of hundred magazines and annuals/specials that are in fair to excellent shape. The earliest ones are #7 and #9. Plus a bunch from the 60's and 70's and then lots more until I stopped reading mad in the 90's.

So, what's my problem? Well, I really should sell them because, as much as I enjoy occasionally looking at them and showing them to others, I guess that I could really use the money I would get if I sold them. However, if I sold them, I wouldn't have them. Hence, I'm trying to figure out if I want to sell them or not. As the avid Mad fan that you are, surely you can understand my conundrum.

I really love them, but don't read them often enough. I would like to see them in the hands of someone that would love them and take care of them. But then I would miss them. As you can see, I'm adrift in a sea of confusion.

I'm hoping that you could lend me a bit of wisdom through your thoughts on this problem.
Thanks for your time and the great site.



I can relate to this on some levels but because I own the entire run of regular issues, I'd never dream of selling them off. If I was in your shoes with a partial collection, the thought might cross my mind.

That said, I'm reading between the lines and seeing that the answer to your quandry is obvious to me. You know every issue you own so you have a serious connection to these issues which separates you from the guy who inherited a box of junk from grandma. You may not look at them very often, but just knowing that your prized magazines are safely tucked away is comforting. You enjoy showing them off to people which means that you're sharing a part of yourself, something that you identify with and hope others will appreciate.

Let me plumb the psychological depths for a moment. You have a love/hate relationship with your Mad issues. This is probably due to the fact that your set is incomplete. You're wrestling with the idea of getting rid of all your beloved issues because they represent the unfulfilled potential of owning every issue. You're lost either way because selling the issues would be an admission of failure to achieve that full collection. Simultaneously, keeping your issues and planning to complete the collection presents a financial and time consuming burden you cannot bear. Picturing them in the hands of someone who'll enjoy them is an admirable idea, but will you ever be the same without them?

I think I have a plan for you that you'll need to follow completely. First, dispel any notion of selling off your Mads. Second, find a way to make more money (even if it means getting another job, borrowing from relatives, ripping off street musicians). Third, use this new-found income solely for the purposes of completing your collection. Only after you've completed gathering your set of regular issues should you worry about other things like taking care of those nasty taxes. Fourth, engage other like-minded individuals by creating a website that shows off your collection. This fourth idea will help keep you interested and will make others like you better. Fifth and finally, hold onto your complete collection into your ripe old years and will them to a great granddaugther or some other descendant (but only if you know they're stable enough to continue holding onto them, resisting the impulse to sell or throw them away just because you're dead and won't know about it anyway).

This is the plan that will bring you peace and I suggest that you start now.
Soon you'll be on your way to the harmony you desire.