August 30th, 2005
Keeper Shelf

Is it my imagination or is the number of authors on my keeper shelf beginning to shrink? Note: I didn’t say the number of books. The authors I choose to keep happen to be VERY prolific. Bless their bloody fingers. (wg)

I don’t know if my reading tastes are changing or if the books aren’t bowling me over anymore. My dh doesn’t think this is a bad thing, but it kind of depresses me. I’ve only added ONE new author to my keeper shelf in the past few years. She joins the other six authors that occupy my top bookshelf. Keep in mind, out of those six, I only buy ALL the books from three. I keep only certain titles of the other three.

This brings me to my questions of the day. How many authors are on your keeper shelf? Do you keep certain authors, or certain titles? If you HAD to recommend one book (and only ONE book) to an ‘alien’ in order to help them understand your love of romance, what would it be and why?

29 comments to “Keeper Shelf”

  1. Interesting timing! I recently cleaned out my keeper shelves and gave away or sold tons of books–ones I must have loved at the time but will never get around to reading again.

    Just did the same today with my shelves of writing books–some I just won’t ever refer to again.

    I do think our reading, and writing, taste changes as we get older. There are authors whom I don’t read anymore (some change, for example, from writing romance to writing suspense)–and I will always keep some of their early books that really moved me at the time. (Certain Linda Howard and Sharon Sala titles come to mind)

    And then there’s that feeling of accomplishment you get when you can actually see a difference in your spare room : )

  2. An alien, eh? Well, I just discovered Jillian Hart. Love her books. They make me both fall in love and cry. I like stories that are able to make me feel something other just falling in love. If it’s a mystery, I really have to be curious. If it’s a horror, I really have to be frightened. Jillian’s books have brought me to tears every single time. Love that. Not the crying, but that her books are emotional books and she achieves it by making me cry. There are too many books I’ve read that try to bring the second element to the story and fail, leaving me disappointed.

    Oops, babbled.

  3. Robin, I’m not sure I want to feel accomplishment about the spare room. *ggg* I do see shelf cleansing in my future though. I’m trying to go through my writing books now and many of my fiction books will follow. Sigh. Keeping a stiff upper lip.

  4. Peggy, Like you, I like books that make you feel. Otherwise, they aren’t worth reading.

  5. Tough call! Just one book-I guess Wishes by Jude Deveraux. I know I blogged about her and I haven’t bought the last of her current series but I’m waiting on a new book from her. I never thought about keeper/auto-buy authors though. I have tons of books, but some I just can’t bring myself to get rid of.

    Keeper Authors-Koontz, Hooper, SEP, LInda Howard (though I’ve skipped a few of hers), Deveraux, Coulter (though I quit reading a couple years ago), Johansen (again another I quit reading but won’t get rid of), Patterson (yet another I quit reading), Mary Kay Andrews, Jane Green….I’ll stop there =)

  6. Wow Cece! That’s quite a list. Why did you pick Wishes? What is it about that book that makes you single it out?

  7. Keeper authors: only three. I haven’t found a keeper this year. Or last year, to come to think of it. Ack. Just one romance to recommend? Hm, I’d recommend a Theresa Weir book. Which one? It depends on a) my mood and b) the innocent. When comes to a shove, I’d opt for Amazon Lily. I do think Weir is a terrible plotter [almost all her books feature an illogical plot turn or two], but her ability to make her characters come alive is amazing. I like her writing style and her dry sense of humour that comes through her writing, and I love her subtle references to music. 😀

  8. Maili, Very cool. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read her or heard of her. Cringe. :-O I’ll definitely check her out now though.

  9. I actually have very few ‘keepers’ in the romance area. I like to read a lot of genres, so I have a few of each. The few romances I’ve kept are ones that may not necessarily have been written by big names, but there’s something in them that appeals to me personally. And even that changes with time–I recently gave away a few I’d had for many years, as if I’d outgrown them.

    One romance book for the alien, eh? Afraid I’m VERY old-fashioned in that area. Jane Eyre. Love, passion, deception, pathos, mystery, jealousy, even a touch of the paranormal.

    What’s not to like?

  10. Nora. Any of her books.

  11. Keeper authors? Waaaaaay too many!!! My husband has to keep building shelves …

  12. I can’t believe I forgot to list Julie Garwood on my keepers shelf. I have all her historicals and I buy the hardcover reprints.

    Why Wishes? I think it’s a combonation of things. One, it still sticks with me–probably because of the characterization which is great IMO . Two, it’s a unique spin on the “fairy godmother” theme. Three it was a paranormal when paranormals were hard to find (and I was devouring every one I could get my hands on). And four, I think also because it had an overweight heroine when they were hard to find (the book is like 14 years old now). If she did a hardcover reprint, I’d buy it. I”m not saying its the best book ever written or anything like that, but it’s one that’s stuck with me for a very long time.

    Some books I auto-buy and keep out of habit (IE KOontz who I love but can be hit and miss occasionally). Some I keep because I can’t bear to part with them (again i have some very tattered Koontz books lying around)–a great story is like a dear friend. I still have a first ed. HC of A Knight in Shining Armor and it’s probably the prize of my collection–I’d never part with it even though I’m sure it could be worth bucks some day. Some I do keep for collector possiblities–not that I’d get rid of them but I’ve gone back and picked up some of Kay Hooper’s early Loveswepts just to have them (I LURVE her psychic FBI series–those are keepers IMO).

  13. I keept both certain authors and certain titles, and I have waaaaay too many. Just ask my husband.

    I don’t know which one book I’d recommend to an alien. The first one that comes to mind is “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon, even though it’s not a romance in the strictest sense of the definition.

  14. Hmm in the last year, I’ve added two keeper authors, meaning I’ll buy just about anything they write. Before that it had been years since I found an author like that.

  15. Ive always been passionate about reading and simply devour books. Honestly, the list of authors on my keeper shelf are too many to number–Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Jennifer Crusie, Jane Heller, Sandra Hill, Olivia Goldsmith and on and on. Books Ive kept forever include my vast, beloved collection of Nancy Drew books.

    As for the one book would Id recommend to an alien to help them understand my love of romance, it would have to be Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, in all its well-loved, dog-eared glory.

    Id prepare something sinfully rich from the book and present it to the little green man and wed sit there trembling in orgasmic bliss as we shared (note: the sharing part is important because chocoholics rarely share) something seriously, sensuously chocolate. Ahhh…the veritable pinnacle of passion and romance! How could he not understand?

  16. I no longer go by authors. If I buy a book, it’s by subgenre. Right now I’m sucking vampire romances like lollipops.

  17. Raine, Very cool. I find it interesting that if you have to pick one book people tend to go for the classic books.

    How did you know you’d outgrown certain books? Did it occur to you out of the blue or was it a more gradual understanding?

  18. Suzanne, I suppose you can’t go wrong with Ms. Roberts. 😀

  19. Trace, That’s another author I’ve never heard of, but will now look up. Thanks.

  20. Jill, We’re running out of wall space for bookshelves. Time to get a bigger house. 😉

  21. Cece, I just recently picked up some of Kay Hooper’s work. (older and newer) I’m really looking forward to reading her.

  22. Lynn, I know a lot of people consider Diana’s book a romance.

  23. Sharon, Who did you add to your keeper shelf?

  24. Daisy, That’s too funny!!! (wg)

  25. Silma, I must say I’m quite fond of vampire books too.

  26. I don’t think I have an auto buy/keep author. Each book is judged on it’s own merit. I’ll look forward to new releases by certain authors, or maybe it’s just the blurb/synopsis of the book that attracts me. But that doesn’t guarantee a sale. The only author off the top of my head who approaches ‘keeper’ status for me, is JAK–in all her guises–but her books (the older ones)–are more comfort reads, than anything.

  27. Jaq, I buy books based on blurbs too.

  28. Jordan, at the end of every year I usually take a week or so off. During that time, I try to go through books, vidotapes, old notes, mss, etc., to see what I can do without, since my living space is small.

    If I find myself skimming through an old favorite & it doesn’t strike a special chord anymore, I know it doesn’t have the same meaning for me.

    Maybe sort of like running into an old love, and you just don’t have the same feeling for them. You’re in a different place than you were 5-10-15 years ago, y’know?

  29. Raine, I never thought of it that way, but probably should. Thanks!!!