«(...) tide of memories which surges toward any collector as he contemplates his possessions. Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories. (...) For what else is this collection but a disorder to which habit has accommodated itself to such an extent that it can appear as order? (...) And indeed, if there is a counterpart to the confusion of a library, it is the order of its catalogue.»
«(...) for a true collector the whole background of an item adds up to a magic encyclopedia whose quintessence is the fate of his objects. (...) One has only to watch a collector handle the objects in his glass case. As he holds them in his hands, he seems to be seeing through them into their distant past as though inspired. (...)»
«On the other hand, one of the finest memories of a collector is the moment when he rescued a book to which he might never have given a thought, much less a wishful look, because he found it lonely and abandoned on the market place and bought it to give it its freedom - the way the prince bought a slave girl in The Arabian Nights. To a book collector, you see, the true freedom of all books is sometwhere on his shelves.»
«(...) the non-reading of books, you will object, should be characteristic of collectors? (...) Suffice it to quote the answer which Anatole France gave to a philistine who admired his library and then finished with the standard question, "And you have read all these books, Monsieur France?" "Not one-tenth. I don't suppose you use your Sèvres china evey day?"»
Por outro lado, há muitos coleccionadores, mesmo de outro tipo de objectos (pinturas, porcelana, ...) que têm os seus objectos guardados e por vezes nem os vêem quotidianamente.
«(...) the phenomenon of collecting loses its meaning as it loses its personal owner. Even though public collections may be less objectionable socially and more useful academically than private collections, this objects get their due only in the latter.»