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Leisure Time Essay

2988 words - 12 pages

Leisure or free time is time spent away from business, work, and domestic chores. During the twentieth century, more and more people found that they had leisure time. This raised an interesting question. What do you do when you are free to do anything you like? Many people took up a hobby. A hobby is a regular activity that is done for pleasure, typically, during one's leisure time. Hobbies can include: collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, and playing sports, along with many more examples. By continually participating in a particular hobby, one can acquire substantial skill and knowledge in that area. Having a hobby helps to make you a more ...view middle of the document...

The scope of collecting is unlimited: "If something exists, somebody somewhere collects them.” The most obvious way to categorize collections is by the type of objects collected. Most collections are of manufactured commercial items, but natural objects such as birds' eggs, butterflies, rocks, and seashells can also be the subject of a collection. Among collections of manufactured items, the objects may be antique, or simply collectible. Antiques are collectible items at least 100 years old, while collectibles can be arbitrarily recent. Collecting is for some people a childhood hobby, but for others a lifelong pursuit or one that begins 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.
One of the world's most popular hobbies is Stamp collecting. Postage stamp collecting began at the same time that stamps were first issued, and by 1860 thousands of collectors and stamp dealers were appearing around the world as this new study and hobby spread across Europe, European colonies, the United States and other parts of the world. The first postage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued by Britain in 1840 and pictured a young Queen Victoria. It was produced without perforations (imperforate) and consequently had to be cut from the sheet with scissors in order to be used. While unused examples of the "Penny Black" are quite scarce, used examples are quite common, and may be purchased for $20 to $200, depending upon condition. People started to collect stamps almost immediately. One of the earliest and most notable was John Edward Gray. In 1862 Gray stated that he "began to collect postage stamps shortly after the system was established and before it had become a rage". As the hobby and study of stamps began to grow, stamp albums and stamp related literature began to surface, and by the early 1880s publishers like Stanley Gibbons made a business out of this advent. Children and teenagers were early collectors of stamps in the 1860s and 1870s. Many adults dismissed it as a childish pursuit but later many of those same collectors, as adults, began to systematically study the available postage stamps and publish books about them. Some stamps, such as the triangular issues of the Cape of Good Hope, have become legendary. Stamp collecting is a less popular hobby today than it was in the early 20th century, but today it is estimated that about 25 million people enjoy the hobby in the United States, while worldwide the estimated numbers of stamp collectors is around 200 million. Tens of thousands of stamp dealers supply them with stamps along with stamp albums, catalogues and other publications. There are also thousands of stamp (philatelic) clubs and organizations that provide them with the history and other...

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