Last week I started reading Vinyl Junkies as part of my attempt to read 15 books this year. It’s been an enjoyable read, even though I knew pretty much what to expect. After all, some people look at my CDs and consider me to be an obsessive collector. But those people probably haven’t seen the boxes and boxes of records sitting in my basement, so I’m not quite sure they grasp the extent of it. I, too, am a vinyl junkie (though nowhere near the aficionado featured in this book).

As I read tales of various record collectors–ranging from R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, who forgets which songs of his appeared on which album but can tell you the full discography of the most obscure band, to Cut Chemist, the world-reknowned DJ whose collection of funk 45s is mind blowing–I started feeling something I hadn’t felt in a while: the desire to sit down and just listen to music. Particularly stuff I have stashed away in the basement.

I’ve been feeling a desire to not only listen to music while working, driving, or cleaning house, but to just sit and listen to music, perhaps with headphones, while doing nothing else. After all, can the subtleties of a Coltrane solo really be appreciated while coding PHP?

Our stereo–the one we use for home theatre, as we have a number scattered throughout the house–doesn’t have a turntable hooked up to it. As a result, the only time I really listen to my vinyl is when I’m in the basement working on music or cleaning. There’s a lot of stuff to discover, or rediscover, in my collection. Like that random Romanian folk record I bought at a library book sale or the obscure hip-hop 12″ that a Japanese collector just offered me $100 for. Or maybe that Roy Eldridge LP I picked up just because I loved the cover art. And definitely that Half Pint single that almost made me pee myself when I found it for $1 after a decade of searching.

But I wanted to go beyond just bringing a turntable upstairs to hook up to my stereo. I wanted to set aside time specifically for listening and rediscovering music. And the way I think I’m going to go about it is as follows: I’ll continue to keep my collection in the basement, but I’ll keep a selection of 10-20 LPs and singles upstairs at a time. After I finish a batch, they’ll get refiled and a new batch will be brought up. It may take a couple weeks to work through a batch, maybe a couple of months. But, however long it takes, I hope to find some new gems and get back to actually enjoying the music rather than just feeling like I’m drowning in it.