In this age of flicker groups, facebook tagging and USB digital frames, having photo albums - as in actual books full of actual prints - seems old fashioned.
But I like photo albums. I like that you can put ticket stubs, menu cards and pressed flowers in them alongside the pictures. I like that it is acceptable to give one to a friend to look at without feeling the need to also provide a running commentary in the way you do when scrolling through your 'My Holiday' PC folder. I like that, once your mum goes out of the room to make tea, you can remove all the bridesmaid pictures in which the make up ''artist's'' mangling of your face is particularly obvious and just rearrange the rest to cover the gap*.
It's the difference between a kindle and real book - it's in the tactile, the indefinable, the ability to enjoy it as an object for more than just it's contents. You can add a personal touch by writing a caption (in actual handwriting, not Helvetica). You can throw a photo album at your brother when he points out that you're in the background of that group shot, caught unawares ''dancing'' to Blondie. A photo album is more than the sum of it's contents
This album is my favourite kind, as it contains no photos of me, moshing inappropriately or other wise - it's all craft photos of things I have made as gifts or for swaps and charity sales. It - like the rag bag sampler that covers it - is a chart of my progress and a collection of ideas tried. I have spotted some six-steppin' stuffies in the backgrounds though, so clearly some things never change...