While vinyl is in the midst of a resurgence as a listening medium, there's still way more old vinyl records than there are hipsters to listen to them, and many old, previously cherished LPs wind up in the wastestream as their owners re-collect the content in digital form. This reflects some of the ambivalence a lot of us have about our old records - they have a special meaning, but not so much that we're going to try to get that turntable working again to hear them.
Katie Pietrak understands that dynamic and is capitalizing on it with Vintage Vinyl Journals, a new product that combines acid-free writing journals with covers made from actual vinyl LPs. "We rescue forgotten vinyl and repurpose it," she told me, adding that people use the journals for all kinds of things, including school notebooks, scrapbooksand other tomes that they consider worthy of a special package.
Pietrak stressed the high-quality acid-free paper in the journals and the glue holding them together, she said, is free of VOCs (volatile organic compounds - at first I heard this as BOC, and wondered what she had against Blue Oyster Cult records). In addition to their marginal eco-friendliness these items call us back to what the company's literature calls "a simpler time - when albums started with a pop and a hiss as needle met groove and thoughts were recorded pen to paper."
Pricing on the journals varies according to the sought-after nature of the LP in question. "Base pricing is around $35 for classic rock," said Pietrak. "Now, rare Zeppelin or Stones, that might run to $45, while the Beatles might get up to $50." On the other hand, the Web site has plenty of off-brand artists and selections currently on sale for as little as $17.99. "Not everybody is interested in a specific artist or record," she said. "Some people just like the concept - hey, we like vinyl, we like music, there you go."
On the other hand, Pietrak observed,"at least half of our sales are from custom requests," where the customer wants exactly one exact vinyl record as the journal cover. How does Vintage Vinyl fulfill those? "I have more than 5000 records in my house, so I may actually have it," Pietrak answered. She also spends time at big record shows such as the Rock & Roll Expo in Oaks, which is where she was when we spoke.
The Vintage Vinyl Journals are currently available in about two dozen stores in our region. But during this holiday gift-giving season, if you know someone who loves music and needs to write things down, the Web site is just a click away.