With the hobby activities this week, I'll get away slightly from the cards themselves and touch on ways of storing them. Jeff asks:
"I have questions about storing a collection in binders.
1. Does anyone store cards in binders that stand in bookshelves without concern of warping the cards? I would like to store in binders but not if I have too store them all laying flat.
2. What is the preferred binder for 800 card sets?"
(Shown above: the binder housing my complete 1973 Topps set. These are the cards I feature -- three times each week -- on my other baseball card-related blog.)
I think that cards look better in binders. It's great to open up my cabinet, pull out a random book and flip through the cards. I also display them in the pages so I can read the backs (at least, the ones with readable backs, that is). My preferred binder is a 4" D-ring. they are wide enough to accommodate those monster Topps sets.
Some of the binders I use were tossed out by big businesses after being used to hold proprietary information. Many of them were formerly corporate training manuals and include plastic dividers that support the pages inside. Those help keep the plastic sheets straight, and for my pre-'66 sets (where I often have multiple sets in the same binder), I use several plastic dividers; they are great for dividing sets in addition to supporting the cards. For example, I use a 4" D-ring binder for my 1953/54 sets. Inside are 1953 Topps, '53 Bowman Color, '53 Bowman B&W, '54 Topps and '54 Bowman. That's 5 sets, with 4 dividers. My '52 binder, however, was put in place when I had no more dividers, so the pages look like this:
As you can see above, having a half-filled binder sometimes causes uneven storage, which might be a source of irritation for some.
I have gotten every 1948-'80 set I'm working on into sheets. As I placed them into the binders, I left spaces for all the cards I needed; that way, whenever I received something needed I was able to quickly slide the cards into their respective slots. There's nothing like inserting the final card for an 8- or 9-pocket sheet because it's a way of seeing your progress that leaving the set in a box can't. As you can see from the picture below, I've still got quite a way to go with my 1952 Topps binder:
Also, there's the fact that whenever you get a hankering to look at some good ol' cardboard, you can pick a year or a set and flip through them. In my collection I've placed the cards so that I can read the backs as well and it's a nice trip through time.
As for my post-'80 sets...they stay in boxes. Maybe eventually they'll get the binder treatment but for now they stay in a stack of boxes that my wife occasionally complains about. My pre-'48 stuff is too sparse to put into a binder but they'll probably be placed into one before the '81+ sets are.