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Hobbies A hobby is a regular activity that people do for pleasure, typically in their free time. There are many kinds of hobbies and pretty much any activity can be called a hobby for someone. Hobbies include outdoor recreation, this includes gardening, climbing, fishing, hiking, running and other sports. Then there are creative hobbies such as photography, painting, drawing, singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument. Other people build small scale models from kits. Cooking and baking is also a popular hobby. I would like to talk about collecting. People can and will collect anything, from stamps to cars, milk bottle labels, coca cola bottle caps, coins, tea cups butterflies, weapons, toys, dolls to seashells. Some collectors start simply by buying things they like and then they slowly gain more and more knowledge about the field and eventually start collecting it. Other people read about the subject first, plan a little and then start buying. There are even ways to socialize as a collector. You can attend a convention and talk with other enthusiasts or go to a website and chat with people. The community is mostly really nice. There are even magazines for collectors, for example in Japan they have whole magazines for upcoming toy releases, which are read by adult men. It’s fairly obvious that collecting cars is not cheap, but even things such as stamps or books get expensive really fast. The books might be out of print, signed by the author or simply really old. Of course, then there are people who collect rocks or even just experiences, like bird-watching, stargazing or train spotting (that’s really popular in Japan, they are called densha otaku). Now I’d like to talk about my own hobbies. When I was young, I used to collect stuffed animals and a book series called horrible histories. Then I got the Playstation 1 and started playing games. A lot. Then I started collecting the warhammer 40k series and other fiction. At the age of 16, I started buying mangas, which are Japanese comic books. It’s quite a difficult hobby to get into, because it requires a lot of research beforehand and you have to actually know quite a lot of titles before you even begin to buy them. It also requires a lot of discipline and planning. Collecting mangas gets expensive really fast, because it’s a really small market and the volumes get out of print rather quickly. They then get sold at ebay for 80USD or more. For example my favourite series has 13 volumes, but the 7th volume is missing and it makes me really mad, because now the collection is incomplete. As you see, I have quite a lot of books and that takes a lot of space. I even considered getting a smaller bed so I could buy more bookshelves. If there would ever be a fire at our flat, then I would probably die trying to save my books. I used to get really obsessed about everything but nowadays I’m trying to have a more balanced life. That’s why I picked up running, weightlifting and baking. I prefer baking to cooking because I have a short attention span and get distracted easily. I bake every weekend and try different recipes for cheesecakes and muffin. My favourite recipe would be the chocolate cheesecake, but most of the time I don’t have money to buy Philadelphia cheese. As for the future I plan to keep collecting mangas, but I’d also like to try archery.