BRETT MILANO Vinyl Junkies: Adventures In Record Collecting (St. Martin’s Griffin)

This book, on the other hand, is a delight, an exercise in reinforcing feelings and fetishes you might’ve suspected you experienced but would never dare admitting to. As the back cover blurb suggests, its path has been smoothed by the literary and cinematic examples of “High Fidelity” and “Ghost World”, but as perhaps the first publication with the phrase “Record Collect” in its title not to be crammed with page upon page of closely-typed classified ads or catalogue numbers, it’s still something vital and refreshing.

More a loose-knit collection of anecdotes and interviews than a cohesively argued narrative, “Vinyl Junkies” nevertheless exudes a lovely, warm glow, the kind of giddy, calming rush that some of us feel when in the presence of hundreds or, on a good day, thousands of vertically stacked foot-square cardboard envelopes. There are some starry names amongst the interviewees, who include Peter Buck, Thurston, Robert Crumb and Nick Salamon, with Steve Wynn providing the front cover’s tagline “Makes me wish I’d kept my turntable”. But there are also happy tales of ordinary people having extraordinary experiences, like hearing an original Mercury Living Presence pressing of Prokofiev’s “Scythian Suite” on a six-figure system, or scoring a reel-to-reel copy of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World”.

I suspect there’ll be two unbridgeable responses to this book: you’ll either be bored stupid or utterly engrossed. Me? I devoured it hungrily: it’s an obsession that needs documenting and celebrating whilst we still have it. Besides, where’s the magic in the phrase ‘MP3 collector’?