I have always believed that anything worth doing is worth over-doing. Stamp collecting is a good example. How can one limit themselves to a particular country, or an era? My interests are too fluid for that. I concentrate on one country for a month or two, then move on as my whimsy takes me. I am a worldwide collector. Oddly enough, the only country I do not collect is the United States of America.
I use the Scott International albums which I keep updated year by year, supplemented with Scott Specialty albums which work very well for pre-1940 stamps.
I believe that a stamp that has not been used to carry a letter through the mails is only a sticker. It is a “kinda” collectable but it is not a postage stamp. Therefore, I only collect postally used stamps. This is quite a challenge for some countries, particularly those with unstable governments or automatic vending machines for stamps.
I have been collecting stamps since Mom and Dad gave me an album for Christmas when I was in the third grade. Stamp collecting is an avocation completely without outside stress; no one knows what you do but yourself. If you want to be sloppy, no one criticizes you; if you spend two weeks a year just updating your albums, no one laughs at you. And with the world producing about 55,000 new stamps each year, you know you’ll never run out of album holes that need filling!
Some of my favorite countries to study and collect are: Brazil, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, and Iraq. I have always been fond of Central European history (my father’s family is from Croatia) and sooo much has happened there since the breakup of the Soviet Union!