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Don't cheat yourself

Get out there and exercise.

Be active. Use your brain.

You will benefit.

No, this is not a public service announcement from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

It is a suggestion to coin collectors, or individuals who call themselves coin collectors, to get moving.

The Internet is a wonderful tool to acquire coins.

It is also a wonderful source of information.

However to gain a fuller understanding of numismatics, books are often better.

Better yet are face-to-face interactions.

After being at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money for a week, I have needed to spend some time cleaning up email that I did not have time to handle while I was in Rosemont, Ill.

Some of the questions I received can be answered simply by looking them up in basic references like Coin Digest and the Red Book.

The senders of the questions could head down to a local coin shop to buy a book, or to a library to check it out.

If the coin shop is the option, the person with the question might just find a valuable new contact and source of information and coins.

Sure it takes a little time and gas money, but the physical stimulation is good for your health and the mental stimulation is good for your brain.

Go to a coin show.

These range from small weekend events at local VFW Halls to the national ANA convention.

Yes, visiting these cost money, but the movement is good for your mind and body.

We live in a crazy world where the younger folks pay large sums of money to be members of health clubs where they exercise rather than spending the time running around the bourse floor.

It is not literal running, but boy at the end of the day on the floor, I know I have done something.

If you happen to be running late for a flight or have a tight connection, the literal running might just occur, too.

For older collectors, getting out has the added benefit of sharing memories with like-minded fellow hobbyists.

I think the cost in time and money to interact with real reference books and real people is money better spent than saving these funds only to have to pay for a future health problem caused by mental or physical inactivity.

I have nothing against regular exercise. I am for it.

I have nothing against the Internet. I am for it.

But avoiding the physical movement of going to shops and shows and emailing questions that are better answered by a little personal effort is simply cheating yourself out of some of the benefits of numismatics.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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