Why do we become attached to certain inanimate objects? Whether it is a piano or a paperweight, any object has the potential to become a treasure. The secret ingredient? A story. Maria Popova explores how stories confer value upon seemingly vacant objects in recounting an experiment carried out by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn in which the duo bought a bunch of cheap trinkets and asked several writers to invent stories about them. The trinkets—originally valued at a total of $128.74—were posted on eBay along with their stories and sold for a whopping $3,612.51! These stories are now part of an anthology entitled Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things.
“It turns out that once you start increasing the emotional energy of inanimate objects, an unpredictable chain reaction is set off.”