Online Vinyl Record Stores and Collectibles

I know what you’re thinking.  What does buying old vinyl records online have to do with history?

Vinyl IS history.  The whole appeal of collecting vinyl is to have some tangible connection with the past.  A middle-aged collector is looking to rekindle feelings from their childhood, and younger collectors or looking to have that tangible music experience for the first time.  I’m reading a book right now called Vinyl Junkies by Brett Milano, which is an entertaining romp through the eccentric world of record collecting.

Full disclosure: I don’t actually collect records.  Not yet anyway.  But I’ve been thinking about it.  The quest for old blues 78s and early roots music has been nagging at my mind lately.  I don’t even own a record player/turntable, so I would fall into the second category of collectors: those too young to have any personal memory of them but fascinated by the prospect of grabbing hold of a physical manifestation of the past.

According to Vinyl Junkies collectors need that visceral feel of hunting down the records, even if they travel half-way across the country to get it.  Which got me wondering.  What about online vinyl record stores?  Apparently, they do exist.  Insound.com is the top Google search store, if you’re wondering.

My wandering train of thought brought me to the logical next step: if collecting records is all about the hunt, and the touch, is there a role for online record shops?  It seems using places like Insound would take away that experience and make buying records just like buying any other media commodity.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

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