Maybe it was the onset of winter. Or perhaps it had something to do with World Record Store Day on Saturday. Then again, if I am totally honest, I'd have to say the reason I sat down last weekend to start taking the plastic covers off my records was inspired by seeing how good a mate's vinyl collection looked sitting on wooden shelves in just their cardboard sleeves.

Don't laugh. I know you're laughing. I don't care.

I still have a few more records to get through, but so far I'm pleased with how my new-look record collection aesthetic is going.

The thing is, I'm finding the experience an emotional roller coaster because some of these ragged and dulled plastic wrappers - like the Cure's Boys Don't Cry, the Go-Betweens Tallulah, and, er, The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack - have been protecting these album covers for 20 years or more.

I still haven't managed to part with the plastic wrapper my favourite record of all time came in, namely Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation. That particular bag, with tatty, browned, and grubby outer edges, is sitting on my desk as I write.

I bought that album from The Entertainers, on the hill in New Plymouth. Sadly the shop is no longer, but the records I got there came in bags sealed with a sticker which read: The Entertainers For People Who Like Music. Husker Du's New Day Rising and Candy Apple Grey had the stickers, Boys Don't Cry also, as did the U Can't Touch This 12-inch single by MC Hammer. Yeah, yeah, so I was still a little deluded and stupid in 1990.

Last weekend, as I went through the records, this somewhat geeky exercise also revealed how many of my favourite and formative albums I don't have on vinyl. The most sad example is never having owned Nirvana's Nevermind on record. In fact, I don't even know where my CD copy of the album is. Lucky it's on my iPod then, eh?

I blame this lack of vinyl on the period around the late 80s when the popularity of CDs hit in a big way. This era coincided with when my mates and I were the guinea pigs of the student loan scheme in the early 90s - thanks a bunch, Lockwood - and we spent up large on this cool new format with pristine sound. I even bought Daydream Nation on CD, so I didn't play the record for years.

How I regret being so easily charmed and giving up the warm crackle of a record for the clinical clarity of CDs. Like many of my generation, I've got a gap of upwards of 10 years where it's an almost vinyl-free zone. So while I'm not crying about missing Korn's self-titled debut album on record, or Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill, I wouldn't mind having original vinyl copies of albums by bands like Head Like A Hole, the Happy Mondays, Oasis, My

Bloody Valentine, Blur, and ... well, the list is endless.

However, with the resurgence of records - both reissued and second hand - it's a good chance to catch up. Not that it's an original pressing, but I recently got the Stone Roses' first album on record - in pretty red vinyl, no less. And the Pixies' Doolittle (for some reason I sold my first copy, probably for a dozen beer while at university) and Surfer Rosa are must-haves on the granddaddy of music formats.

The recession has been good for records. While some are still at a premium, like a record by 60s New Zealand rockers the Underdogs going for $169 in Real Groovy, most new release vinyl is down to between $34.95 and $44.95. It's not exactly a cheap or free download, but grabbing a record off the shelf, sliding it out of its cardboard sleeve, dropping it on the player and hearing the crackle of the needle is satisfaction guaranteed. Plus, records look good. Hot, even, especially now that they're looking sexy up there on the shelves wearing nothing but cardboard.