Today is Record Store Day - an import from America, celebrating the independent music shops and the traditional vinyl records they sell. In past years I've joined the brave souls at 4am in the morning, queuing to get their hands on some of the exclusive titles released to mark the day. Not this year - I value my sleep too much.
But I do get it. After all, I was born to be a lover of records. My dad is an avid record collector and listener. It's a passion I've been exposed to and eventually embraced - despite a temporary wobble in faith.
Through most of my childhood my mum worked weekends, which meant lots of daddy-daughter time - searching through the local papers for table top and garage sales, driving across town to a community centre and sweeping through the hall spotting battered boxes of unloved albums to flick through at speed, before jumping back in the van to seek out the next potential vinyl treasure - crucially, before any of his rival collectors.
Hopefully we'd return home with at least a couple of purchases and, as we munched on cheese cobs, I'd pull out the huge volume of the Record Collector guide as dad examined the record - calling out the label, pressing, condition. At the age of 11 I understood the nuances of the Dark Side of the Moon cover-art and the evolution of the Pink Island label design.
And then I went to high school and became a teenager. More exposed to the modern pop and RnB artists my classmates listened to, I started spending my pocket money on cassette tapes of chart music - Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears. My mini hifi, with it's record player top, was replaced with a super compact CD player and my Monkees vinyl albums hibernated in my wardrobe.
I never rejected the 60s and 70s music I'd grown up with - I still enjoyed listening to whatever dad was playing (although he does always like to remind me I was told him to turn off Bob Dylan "because he can't sing"). But no-one else I knew in early-00's teenage Leicestershire was listening to prog rock on old media - it was increasingly all about digital and the records thing was for people my parents age.
How things change. It seems vinyl is back in fashion. Which is not the reason I fell back in love with the idea of having my own record collection, but makes things seriously easier now I have. I'm not sure what it was for me - but I'm glad I've gone full circle.
My hifi system has gradually come together over the past five years, completely thanks to dad's amazing ability to track down vintage amps, decks and speakers seemingly from thin air.
So now we're both record collectors - although we do differ. Dad loves the music, but he also loves knowing he has the finest example of a first pressing he can find. For me, I'm happy if the record plays and the cover largely stays together when I remove it from the bookcase.This works out pretty well for me. I've become the proud owner of many of his seconds over recent years.
I'm in no way a vinyl purist. Let's face it, it's not the most convenient medium of listening. Throughout the week I listen to 6Music through my digital radio, I'm plugged into Spotify on my phone, and of course I still have a shelf full of CDs (although Britney has sadly gone to the charity shop).
But I get real joy from flicking through my ever growing collection of records on a Sunday morning, pouring over the covers of old favourites or taking a chance on something new - and dancing round my dining room as the tunes eminent from my wooden-clad Rogers speakers.