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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Collectibles

1. Joe Hart distinguishes himself not only by his leadership, but by a rare humanity that compels him to reach out to others who could be viewed as very different from him. In what ways have you reached out to others you would consider different from you? How did it impact you? The other person? Is there a person or group of people you would feel particularly uncomfortable reaching out to? Why?

2. Preston’s fear of being considered a financial failure caused him to make choices that could have resulted in financial failure --- a self-fulfilling prophecy. What fears have challenged you? How have you overcome them? Who did you turn to for support?

3. Discuss the similarities between Joe and Preston; between Preston and each of the Collectibles.

4. Would you have helped Preston? Why or why not? Why do you think Joe decided to help him? Have you ever been in a situation where someone that you didn’t particularly want to help asked for your help? How did you respond? Under what circumstances do you believe it’s okay not to help?

5. Could you have made the three promises to Joe: to tell him everything, to tell him the absolute truth and in the future to do something for him no matter what it was? Why or why not?

6. At one point Joe Hart tells Preston Wilson, “Sometimes in life you have to have enough faith to make an irrevocable commitment.” Describe a time in your life when you made such a commitment. What were the challenges in honoring that commitment? How has the situation turned out? Was it worth it?

7. Joe’s wife, Ashley, nicknamed the people he helped the “Collectibles.” Commonly, collectibles are sought-after knick-knacks or other objects of value. Why would Ashley choose this nickname? Was it appropriate?

8. Which of The Collectibles would you feel most comfortable meeting? In what ways would you have offered help? How did Joe offer help?

9. What do you think Preston learned from each of the Collectibles? What did you learn?

10. How do you think Joe’s death will affect each of the Collectibles? Do you think Preston will fulfill his promise to Joe? Will Preston and Marcia stay married?

The Collectibles
by James J. Kaufman

  • Publication Date: November 30, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Downstream Press
  • ISBN-10: 0982587317
  • ISBN-13: 9780982587317