Bob Hole is a stamp collector and YouTuber, collecting all sorts of stamps, and despite having put stamps in his collection for over 50 years, still considers himself a beginner. Topics that Bob talks about include stamps, as well as related topics. Specifically, people who visit Bob's channel will see his personal stamp collection,and find information about how Bob collects, keeps and manages his stamps, and other philatelic information. You can click here to find the blog and podcast, which ARE different than the video channel.
APS reached out to Bob to get more information for a brief philatelic bio about his background in the hobby as well as further background about his YouTube channel and future plans.
How much time have you spent collecting stamps?: Around 50ish years, most of it as an accumulator or hoarder. As for time spent in the hobby: I was in my 8th grade stamp club, and APS and ATA for about two years in 1991-1993, rejoining in autumn 2020. I was also a regular at the stamp store in my town in 6th-8th grades, until it closed.
What stamps do you collect?
I consider myself mostly a collector of U.S. stamps. My focus in that area are the 3 cent commemoratives. My world collecting is scattershot. I’ve been keeping aquaria since before stamps, and so fishes is a topic of interest, specifically freshwater fishes. I was trained in biology, with an emphasis on ornithology (birds) and entomology (insects), and those are also topical interests. But any pretty stamp can catch my eye. I have a LOT of non-stamp interests, and those topics can quickly get out of hand for at least a short time of collecting.
What inspired you to start a YouTube channel?
The social media came about because I watched Graham Beck of Exploring Stamps, and he mentioned several times that he started because he wanted to learn more about stamps. Having been a teacher learning the lesson the night before teaching it, this seemed a good spur to encourage my own learning.
Where do you see the future of stamp collecting?
I'm a huge proponent of continuing online philately well into the future. 2020 taught us how to do it as well as the importance of the hobby moving online. I don't think that going back to off-line only is good for stamp collecting at all, and may lead to the extinction of that part of the hobby. I know it can be tough. I have been running online meetings for a local non-stamp society, and as we go back to in-person meetings there will be challenges. They may not be able to be broadcast live, but they will be put online within a couple days from now on.
How did you come up with your channel name?
“Bob Collects Stamps” became my online handle because Graham was Exploring them, and Ted was Talking about them, and I really felt I was Collecting them – and wanted to learn more about collecting hows and whys. I kinda explored it with YouTube and my blog, podcast, Instagram, and twitter, and all because I was already doing those things in other contexts and “one more can’t hurt.”
What advice would you give for stamp collectors?
I strongly believe there is no right or wrong way to collect stamps. There are only better practices and worse practices for achieving the goals you want (if your goal is to put stamps in the attic to mold and deteriorate, there are ways to foster that goal).
What are some of your future plans?
I started 2021 with great optimism, beginning a 365 Stamp Project, hoping to do a short essay around a stamp a day. This was interrupted by a heart attack and surgery in early April, but stamps have helped giving me something to do while recuperation. I’m “all better” now, but have not yet picked up the 365 project again because I got busy with other things, and my other output has suffered as well.