Collecting More Than an Obsession for New Yorker Harley Spiller has about a million objects crammed into his small apartment, including a world-record 10,000 Chinese takeout menus. He also collects bottle caps, packs of gum, and other odds and ends. He thinks he's got his hobby under control.
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Collecting More Than an Obsession for New Yorker

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Collecting More Than an Obsession for New Yorker

Collecting More Than an Obsession for New Yorker

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

And it's time now for StoryCorps, the project in which Americans talk about their lives. And today, we'll hear from Harley Spiller. He's a collector. For 40 years, he has stockpiled things like the world's largest private collection of takeout menus. And that earned him a place in the Guinness World Records.

HARLEY SPILLER: A couple of hundred funky neckties.

INSKEEP: I mean, I know it's unusual, but I think I've got it under control. I think I'm right on the border between obsessed and intelligent about these things. I don't really care about the stuff. That's the bottom line. I don't care about my menus. If they were to disappear tomorrow, I'd still know everything I know about them, and that's what matters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: That's collector Harley Spiller at StoryCorps in New York City. His interview will be archived along with all the others at the Library of Congress. And you can subscribe to the StoryCorps Podcast by going to npr.org.

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