Collecting and Aphantasia


I’m 52 and recently realized I have aphantasia.

Looking back on my life some of my weird quirks make more sense, such as not being able to remember faces or past events.

One thing I wonder about is the hobby of collecting stuff.

My house is odd. Every square inch of wall space is decorated with photos, pictures, art, and stuff. I’ve collected lots books and magazines, old fishing lures, movies and videogames, board games, and these are all well-organized and on display. And by “lots” I mean thousands and thousands. My house looks more like a weird, curated museum than a regular family dwelling. Happily, my wife loves the aesthetic, even though her mind’s eye is vivid.

When I think about how I think, I realize that it is all about the relationships between ideas, words, and concepts. Since I can’t imagine visuals, my imagination involves grouping together ideas, and filling in blanks. 

Is collecting stuff directly connected to the way I think? Because now that I know I have aphantasia, my house and collections really seem like I have substituted my mind’s eye with visual memories and symbols.

Do any of you collect stuff too?

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