I've spent a lot of time during this Labor Day weekend combing through many used-CD bins at a couple of Movie Trading Company locations. With a special of "Buy two, get one free" with 99-cent CDs, I've amassed a few small stacks for a total price of three new CDs.
While this makes my library even larger, I can't help notice what I've bought: almost all of these CDs were by bands I remember from high school or college. Only a few came out after I graduated college, which was ten years ago.
I'm talking Neil Finn, Dance Hall Crashers, Catatonia, Space, the Juliana Theory, and Underworld, to name a few. Records that I remember holding, whether I was at a Best Buy or at my college radio station. There's a different set of memories there -- and quite different from seeing songs saved as MP3s on my computer.
I find this stuff to be treasure. I doubt some of this stuff is on the Internet -- and it's been cheaper to get them in the used bin instead of spending a few hours clicking through to see what's available and hoping that the sound quality doesn't suck.
People may laugh or wonder why I hold onto these CDs instead of dumping them after I rip them. Well, hard drives could always die on you, losing all sorts of stuff in the process. It never hurts to have back-up copies. And it never hurts to recall when you first heard a record when it impacted you.