Monday, February 29, 2016

My Top Twelve Favorite Catalogs

While out driving today I found myself reminiscing about my wonderful experiences shopping via catalog back in the late 90s into 2000s when I was still crazy and isolated and using shopping as a coping mechanism for my mental illness (anxiety, depression, & paranoia), not to neglect to mention,  loneliness and emptiness. It occurred to me to draw up a list of my favorite catalogs I patronized during that time, not merely lurked hoping someday to patronize, but from whom I actually purchased on numerous occasions. 
  1. Bud Plant Comic Art - That title is a joke (well sort of, that is the guy's name) but they did not sell any drug paraphernalia. However, they did offer some amazing art items, especially, comics, graphic novels, art books, and erotic art. They went out of business for a time but seem to be back now. Yay for them! They has since split into two catalogs with the other being Bud's Art Books.
  2. Sovietski Collection - After the Cold War ended, it seemed that everything was for sale in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s. I availed myself of the opportunity to acquire some spoils of war given my family was a Cold War-rior family. This catalog is now kaput.
  3. Firefighters Bookstore - I was able to indulge my disaster video obsession quite substantially through this catalog, especially early on as I built my disaster video collection and to a lesser extent, my disaster book library.
  4. The Weather Channel - TWC used to have a cool catalog which allowed one to order their early disaster videos which are now hard to acquire, something else they no longer offer anymore... some great early classic stuff I have on VHS.
  5. Sormani Calendars - For quite a number of years, calendars were an obsession of mine and this catalog catered to it. They specialized in the rare and hard-to-get over-sized calendars.
  6. FSP Books & Videos - This was another source for my indulgence in disaster books and videos as I built up my personal library of such things.
  7. Wind & Weather Catalog - Back when I had money to spend this was a favorite place to spend it.
  8. Paradise on a Hanger - Though no longer in business, this was a fun catalog for which to indulge my past obsession with Hawaiian shirt collecting and wearing.
  9. Real Goods - I purchased not a few things from them during the '90s into '00s. I later visited their campus/store in Hopland, CA, with my mom and then-girlfriend. Interesting place, cool catalog, and great memories.
  10. Raven Maps - More than one expensively-framed map I have owned came from this amazing cartographic catalog. 
  11. Browntrout Calendars - Yet another one of my calendar addiction fixes... this one, West-Coast-based as opposed to East Coast-based Sormani Calendars. 
  12. Lands End - I have purchased more hiking sandals and clothing here than anywhere else, bar none. Nowadays, as an impoverished student I have often received gifts from mom at Christmas from this place.... still great quality.... my best shirts are from this place.

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