I first became interested in collecting postage stamps as a young boy, probably around age 9 or 10. My first postage stamp album had places for stamps from most of the larger and more prominent countries in the world. As I recall, the stamp album came complete with a cloth bag full to the brim with cancelled stamps still affixed to the corner of the envelope which they served while in the postal system. I soon realized that collecting worldwide postage stamps would be both time-consuming and expensive. I decided early on to limit my collection to what is known as British North America (BNA), that includes Canada at the various provinces who issued postage stamps prior to Confederation. Somehow, through all my travels and changes of accommodations I have managed to keep my postage stamp collection with me. About a year ago my philatelist curiosities were rekindled and I began purchasing mint Canadian stamps to populate the vacancies in my stamp album.

I have also been a long time “Camera Hound” and currently have a very good kit of equipment. I have begun photographing mint stamps from my collection, storing the images on my computer and printing enlargements of the stamp’s sizes ranging from a postcard up to a poster. The artwork on Canadian postage stamps, which is much easier to see and appreciate when enlarged, is nothing short of stunning. As well, more recent postage stamp sets focus on a myriad of subjects, there is something for everyone. As such if one were to offer these printed stamp images, enlarged, the target market would not only be fellow philatelists but also anyone else who has a hobby depicted upon Canadian postage stamps.

I am currently trying do come up with the proper verb to describe what I am doing when I am interacting with my postage stamp collection. “Work or working” seems to be the most popular verb amongst the many people I have talked to about it. I feel working is the wrong verb in that it implies physical or mental exertion. I don’t consider my time “playing” with my stamps in that I am working towards specific goals and objectives unlike play which has no specific goals other than the peaceful passage of time. If you have any suggestions of a word or words to describe what an individual is due a while interacting with their hobby I would be happy to hear them.
Hi, Red,

You said: "I am currently trying do come up with the proper verb to describe what I am doing when I am interacting with my postage stamp collection. “Work or working” seems to be the most popular verb amongst the many people I have talked to about it. I feel working is the wrong verb in that it implies physical or mental exertion. I don’t consider my time “playing” with my stamps in that I am working towards specific goals and objectives unlike play which has no specific goals other than the peaceful passage of time. If you have any suggestions of a word or words to describe what an individual is due a while interacting with their hobby I would be happy to hear them."

Whatever you want to call this activity, it involves some level of creative thinking and you do enjoy it. What about creative engagement or enjoyment, as in "I am creatively engaging with my stamp collection" or simply "I am enjoying my stamps" . . If you don't like that, you could also make up your own verb. For example, my daughter doesn't ask me if I am working on my dissertation, she says I am "dissertating" Since "stamping" already has meaning, you could be "hobbying" :-)

**"I think I get while you don't want to say your are "playing with your stamp collection," somehow that almost makes it sound less important/meaningful, like play is the opposite of work and play (imaginative) is the opposite of real. I find this interesting to think about. "Play' and "playing" have actually been the subject of philosophical theorizing re: the importance of playfulness to human health, what play means in terms of social engagement (how games and playing them can be understood as competitive and noncompetitive varieties of activity and engagement there's a whole literature on game theory too) and how the mind "works" to creatively and imaginatively problem solve (e.g.--play is part of the ethic for Google-- brainstorming, "playing with ideas") and play is dramatic action, we speak of "playing a part" such as "playing the devil's advocate," gender as a kind of "play" or performance, etc.