Thoughts on collecting are as varied as the people who collect. Everyone collects and each approach is unique. Some jump from interest to interest quickly, which to me subverts the entire ethos behind collecting. It takes endurance. Then again, there is no separating how one collects from their value system. I have collected the same things since I was a kid - baseball cards, books and records. Of course, that makes those items worthy of collection and, in a general way, define me.
My approach has always been more on accumulating, less on rarity and "mintness." Finding the green cover is a perfect example of that. OK, I did look on eBay to see if it was a true find, and it is pricier than the red. That the copy I have is less than perfect and has a split cover makes it no less valuable in my eyes. A few years back I bought a lot of Porter Wagoner records and the former owner had written on each cover the date and place of purchase. Rather than diminish their value, this increased their worth. Thinking of the person behind the albums, diligently recording for his own mental database the history of his purchases struck a chord with me. I too am someone who marks their time by what and when they got stuff.
There's a scene in High Fidelity where the main character reorders his record collection autobiographically to chart the course he'd taken. Isn't that what collecting is, really, reflecting on what we were and what we hope to be?