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What Makes a Book a Keeper For You?
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Terese



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 250

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:19 pm    Post subject: What Makes a Book a Keeper For You? Reply with quote

What makes you hold onto a book? Do you keep only the books you would consider "A" or "A-" reads? Ot is it something else that makes you hold onto it? Is it a weaker book in a series but you want to keep it because it's part of a favorite series? Maybe a favorite author?

I moved a few months ago and I decided that it was time to get rid of some of my books. In some cases it was really hard to choose which to let go. I gave away over 200 books. And now I'm finding that there are some I wish I still had because I wanted to re-read them. So for me, that is the criteria for holding onto a book: If I will re-read it. It doesn't necessarily have to be an "A" book, but I have to want to re-read it.

How about you?
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Elaine S



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 666
Location: Rural England

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some books that I have kept for 35+ years. Maulever Hall by J A Hodge is one of the oldest along with my Anya Seton books and Gwen Bristow. I've also keep numerous romances as well and I am fortunate in having a room for them - all to myself!! I find that there are very few authors that I keep - maybe no more than 25 and perhaps only 15 where I have the author's entire output. I am finding I am rummaging through back lists more and more because it's been increasingly difficult for me to find books that "push all of the right buttons" in the romance genre over the last 5-6 years. I confess to a love of the wounded/tortured hero and so favour those writers (like Paula Detmer Riggs and Gayle Wilson's historicals) who wrote such great books. I keep Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverly, Judith A Lansdowne, Marjorie Farrell, Carla Kelly, Barbara Metzger, Edith Layton, Elizabeth Rolls, Mary Balogh and, of course, Georgette Heyer. Soon to go will be Julia Quinn and Amanda Quick - although at the time I thought they were DIKs, time has gone by and I haven't read any of them again. So, off they must go sometime. And, on another post here I confessed to having the entire output of Betty Neels. Not quite sure why - she wrote a few that I truly loved but many were repetitive and formulaic - I guess the formula was right and her Sister Peters in Amsterdam was the first category romance I ever read.

The serious fiction on my shelves includes Austen, Bronte and Mary Wesley. I read a huge amount of straight history and biography as well and many of these are kept for reference.

What makes each of individual makes each of us like something different. I know many adored Adele Ashworth's Wintergarden but, for me, it was utter drivel. So, that which defines the keeper is, I expect, for many of us inexplicable and something we can't articulate. I suspect for some of us, there is a tiny secret something that we would never confess to a soul that we like - perhaps oral sex, a disabled hero, a lesbian heroine - whatever - something secret, private and subject to our innermost fantasies.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very much attracted to scenes, or moments. I'll keep books and re-read them just for a few pages that I really enjoyed. Books that I liked, but didn't have any particular moment that stuck with me, I usually donate. Ones that do, I keep.
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Mingqi



Joined: 21 Apr 2007
Posts: 396

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do keep a lot of books that were tolerable or just plainly enjoyable- just because I'm afraid that one day a scene will pop into my head and drive me crazy with wondering which book it came from. I don't get rid of it unless it was a total wallbanger for me.

The TRUE keepers are the ones that I know that I will reread many times or have many scenes that have stuck with me. They are also my ultimate comfort reads i.e. Connie Brockway's Bridal Favors, Julia Quinn's The Viscount who loved me, SEP's Match me if you can, etc. Many of them are stories I can just into right away. Maybe read a few scenes while I'm in the bathroom doing the number two.

I also keep a lot of books that I find timeless and that I believe my future daughters-20 years into the future- might love too i.e. i.e. timeless classics like L.M. Montgomery's works (Anne of Green Gables), Little Women, Howl's Moving Castle. Jane Austen's novels, some Patricia Wrede YA fantasies, Georgette Heyers (<--definitely timeless. my former boss-40 years older than me- loves them. and i think she first got introduced to them by her mother-in-law or aunt. the thought of generations loving the same books really struck a chord with me)
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1410

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the time, for a book to be a keeper, I REALLY have to love the characters, so I NEVER include ones with a hero is abusive or the heroine TSTL. If a romance is excellent, I love to reread the build up of the two of them coming together. Intense love scenes help, as does humor. I do find, however, that when I reread some of the books I've kept, I've changed, and they are no longer keepers. Sometimes, a book was fresh and exciting, but then started a whole trend (Christine Feehan is an excellent example here), and is no longer much fun.

Some of my favorites are "With This Ring" by Carla , "Lord Perfect" and "Lord of Scoundrels" by Loretta Chase, about four EARLY Cathleen Anderson, "Morning Glory," "Hummingbird" "The Gamble" by LaVyrle Spenser, most of Lisa Marie Rice, "Sunshine and Shadow" and "Windflower" by the Curtises.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 667

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: The true keeper Reply with quote

What's a real keeper? It's funny - it's not necessarily a book I will re-read (as I can always borrow it out of the library if I feel like re-reading a particular book that I haven't kept). I would say a real keeper is a book which I will read more than twice. Several Georgette Heyers (which i have read more than 5 times; some perhaps more than 10 times - I have lost count) are real keepers - e.g. these Old Shades, Devil's Cub, Regency Buck, The Grand Sophy, Frederica. Or, a real keeper is a book which I really like so much, although I haven't read it twice yet, I know I will want it nearby so that I can re-read it whenever the fancy takes me.

The flip question is What's a definite give-away? - which is easier to answer - a book I never ever will read again - some books I have given away at BookMooch even before I finish reading them. But I give away books which are categorised "maybe will re-read sometime in the future" as I don't have the space to keep these books. And then there are books which were keepers a few years ago, and then I do a clean-out of my shelves and I can happily give them away. It may be according to mood, or hormonal after all...
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: What Makes a Book a Keeper For You? Reply with quote

+IHS+

Terese wrote:
What makes you hold onto a book? Do you keep only the books you would consider "A" or "A-" reads? Or is it something else that makes you hold onto it?


As a confirmed bibliomaniac, I keep even the "D-" reads! Laughing

I remember giving away my copy of a really hateful YA novel, but that's it. (Oh, yeah, and the Dan Brown books I got for my birthday. I waited a year and then let a friend borrow them, hinting that she didn't have to return them. Wink Does that count?)

Terese wrote:
Is it a weaker book in a series but you want to keep it because it's part of a favorite series? Maybe a favorite author?


A book will move up from "Random Book I Own" status to something closer to "Keeper" status if it is part of a beloved series or was written by a favourite author. That doesn't mean I'll also rush to save it if the house caught on fire, though.

Terese wrote:
I moved a few months ago and I decided that it was time to get rid of some of my books. In some cases it was really hard to choose which to let go. I gave away over 200 books. And now I'm finding that there are some I wish I still had because I wanted to re-read them. So for me, that is the criteria for holding onto a book: If I will re-read it. It doesn't necessarily have to be an "A" book, but I have to want to re-read it.


Since I also reread quite a bit, I'd say that a true Keeper is something I'd want to reread when I feel ill. Smile I agree that these are not necessarily "A" reads. These books are comfort reads because they help restore my faith in romantic love--even if they are "just" fiction. So when I feel low and am tempted to harden into cynicism, I read them and melt again. :)

Elaine S wrote:
What makes each of individual makes each of us like something different. I know many adored Adele Ashworth's Wintergarden but, for me, it was utter drivel. So, that which defines the keeper is, I expect, for many of us inexplicable and something we can't articulate. I suspect for some of us, there is a tiny secret something that we would never confess to a soul that we like - perhaps oral sex, a disabled hero, a lesbian heroine - whatever - something secret, private and subject to our innermost fantasies.


Well, I will confess that one of my Keepers has a heroine whose insecurities I share but would never admit to. In the real world, the proper reaction to someone with such hang ups is a brisk, "Get over it already!" Laughing Yeah, that works for me sometimes, but it's nice to dream that somewhere out there, for every woman like that, there is a strong, understanding hero who will understand the real problem and do what he can to fix it.
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misty



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 230
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keepers for me are comfort reads. The ones that I keep tend to be the ones that make me feel giddy, so I find that I don't keep many novels with really dark themes. They have to have something more than just good writing, it's the feeling they evoke when I read them.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A keeper for me is usually a book I feel I will want to read again. I don't have to love both the hero and heroine but it's a definite bonus if I do. I am a pretty hero centric reader so it's absolutely crucial I like him, at least.

For instance, I just finished Fire and Ice by Anne Stuart and it's definitely a keeper for me! While I found the heroine to be pretty annoying at times I did think that Jilly and Reno made a great pair and he was one heck of a hero. I didn't dislike Jilly but I wasn't overly crazy about her either, that was fine. I'm sure I'll be rereading this one again in the near future, it was a blast to read. Reno was pure fun.

Lately I've been in a romance reading slump and getting picker and picker as time goes by, I'm so tired of the same old song and dance. Then along came Death Angel by Linda Howard and Fire and Ice by Anne Stuart and they just knocked my socks off! I found both to be exciting and fun reads, keepers for sure. I'm hoping this is a sign of better reading days to come. :)

Linda
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 658

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As a confirmed bibliomaniac, I keep even the "D-" reads!


Schola - just being nosy, but how do you manage it? Do you have tons of shelves, or are they stacked in boxes?
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long ago, I started keeping books that I thought I would like to re-read after I retired. Now that I'm retired, there are still so many enjoyable new books coming out that I haven't gotten to that project. There are some of them, though, that I've often re-read without waiting for the fated time to start.

I usually keep all the books in a series until the last one comes out. Then I look at the whole group with a cold, fishy, eye and ask myself if I want to give it shelf space.
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PatW



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 638
Location: Central Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A keeper is a book I think I want to re-read.

I cull my shelves periodically - if I have re-read a book it stays; if I haven't it goes. Some books have lasted on the shelves for 35 years (Georgette Heyer comes to mind), others might last 5 or 10 years and then become forgettable so they go in the next shelf cull....

Some books never make it on the shelf at all - they go directly in the bag to be disposed of one way or another. I have quite a bit of shelf space but it's not limitless!
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMcA wrote:
Quote:
As a confirmed bibliomaniac, I keep even the "D-" reads!


Schola - just being nosy, but how do you manage it? Do you have tons of shelves, or are they stacked in boxes?


"Manage" is a generous word. It implies a system of organisation! Laughing

Well, aside from my regular bookcases, I've appropriated a bureau that nobody wanted anymore. They're not quite stacked in boxes, but they're arranged spine-side-up in drawers so that I see the titles easily when I slide the drawers open. Smile

I'm running out of space, though. I may have to find another hapless piece of furniture to recruit . . .
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"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
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MMcA



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 658

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I may have to find another hapless piece of furniture to recruit . . .


That started me calculating how many books I could store in the dishwasher, because, you know, it's already divided neatly into sections...
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Elaine S



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 666
Location: Rural England

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MMcA wrote:
Quote:
I may have to find another hapless piece of furniture to recruit . . .


That started me calculating how many books I could store in the dishwasher, because, you know, it's already divided neatly into sections...


Yes, and you could keep the erotic ones in the fridge!!!
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