The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining items that are of interest to an individual collector. Collections differ in a wide variety of respects, most obviously in the nature and scope of the objects contained, but also in purpose , presentation , and so forth. The range of possible subjects for a collection is practically unlimited, and collectors have realised a vast number of these possibilities in practise, although some are much more popular than others.
In collections of manufactured items, the objects may be antique or simply collectable . Antiques are collectable items at least 100 years old, while other collectables are arbitrarily recent. The word vintage describes relatively old collectables that are not yet antiques. Previously commonplace items that are now rare are called ephemera.
Collecting is a childhood hobby for some people , but for others a lifelong pursuit or something started in adulthood. Collectors who begin early in life often modify their aims when they get older. Some novice collectors start purchasing items that appeal to them then slowly work at learning how to build a collection, while others prefer to develop some background in the field before starting to buy items.