When I first started I ended up using one of those stick page photo albums. Luckily it was all just stamps cut(and soaked) from mail my family and friends received. Still I am sad at the stamps I ruined. It turns out after about a week those sticky pages bond pretty much permanently to the stamps and even water won't get them off. It is only that glossy back on photos that protects them I guess.
This thread reminds me of a few memories from childhood. A few of my friends from elementary school started collecting stamps at the same time, either 4th or 5th grade. One friend Jeff, got one of those free packets of stamps from Garcelon that came with approvals. His mother bought him the ENTIRE approval selection lolol- I was so jealous.
Jeff and I sat on the floor of his bedroom contemplating the stamps, and I watched him lick and stick one mint stamp after another into his album. He must have licked down at least 40 stamps into his album that day. Oh well....
In high school I was still collecting and there were a very small handful of collectors in our club. Maybe 5 or 6 at the most. It was run by a Social Studies teacher named Mr. Consigli who was a client of Plate Block Irving's for those of you who remember Irving Praeger. Mr. Consigli got Irving to visit us one day to give a talk on philately to our small club.
One of the students in the club was a guy I used to work with at a Chinese Restaurant while in High School named Jose. He was actually from Hong Kong, via Macau. For a teen, he had a nice collection of Hong Kong 1950s - 1970s put up in one of those photo albums. At the time it seemed like a really cool idea, but I never went there. I do recall thinking that some of the stamps, when removed from the photo album, had very tiny black "things" on the gum which had transferred from the backing paper in the album. I'm guessing none of those stamps exist any longer, or if they do they are in terrible condition.