The Keeper Shelf

Any reader knows of the keeper shelf. Any romance writer is a voracious reader and aware of the keeper shelf too. The keeper shelf is the shelf or shelves of books you have to keep, to re-read over and over again.

I have several bookcases of hard covers and a giant bookcase in the garage of paperbacks that number probably in the hundreds. I love books. I started reading at 2 1/2 years old and I’ve collected tons of books since then. I have my childhood classics; Black Beauty, Little Woman, Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, and so many more. I have all the books of my favorite romance writers; Jennifer Blake, Shirlee Busbee, Joanna Lindsay, Bertrice Small, and so many others. I have all my friends who are now published; Karin Tabke, Tawny Weber, Amy Atwell, and now Sharon Hamilton and P.A. Moore.

So now we have the age of e-readers; the Kindle, the Nook, and others. So, how do you decide what to save on a “keeper shelf” on an eReader? Do you collect hundreds of them and have several memory cards? Do you only keep series or favorites?

What will be on the “keeper shelf” of your eReader? What is on your physical keeper shelves?  Jill James


14 thoughts on “The Keeper Shelf

  1. Jill, I’ve been an avid reader since elem. school when I’d walk to the local library branch and regularly check out armfuls! Like you, I still have my childhood favorites along w/hundreds of others (coffee table books, biographies, self-helps (got rid of most of those, ‘tho) and so many more. My keepers are: Elizabeth Berg, Luanne Rice, Gail Tsukiyama, Maeve Binchy, some other authors I like are Ann Patchett and Jennifer Haigh. Oh, and another “keeper” is Anita Shreve. Great question!

  2. This is something I was thinking about recently too. I really like physical books. My favorite authors — I have both. But it does bother me that some of my favorites I can *only* get in digital — shorter length stories etc. And how do you promo that other than online promos? Anyway. It prompted me to do some personal queries on personal copies of digital works for use with promo ops — such as a signing where I’m signing my print books, but can display a bound copy of a digital book. And THEN… I can stick it on my keeper shelf, which physically includes Karin Tabke, Shayla Black, Johanna Lindsey, Anne Rice, a bunch of DragonLance books, Jaci Burton, Kimberly Killion, and then for digital I have YOU 🙂 And Katherine Brandon, Brenda Whiteside, Catherine ByBee and a whole bunch of others. Linda Kage too!

    • Claire, Cool!! I’m on a digital keeper shelf. My book appeared at last night. I am so thrilled to see it there! I love reading and writing romances.

  3. As you know Jill, once I got a nook I cleaned out my bookshelves, and donated 10 bags to the library, and the VA hospital. What I keep is hardcovers of Phillappa Gregory, Anna Kostova, Anne Rice, and J.D Robb. There are few unknown authors who never published again, and I have their wonderful books. With the Nook my shelves are very empty.

    • Lee, I don’t have your strength—just can’t summon the hard-heartedness needed to clean out so many books! There are still so many I have yet to read! Wish I had room for more shelves, but am trying to avoid buying: that’s why I wanted the Nook in the 1st place!!!

      • Maris, it was hard the first time I cleared some shelf space, but I had lots of books that I got because I heard about them online or such and they just really weren’t “keeper” material. I was just so used to keeping all my books that it didn’t cross my mind to not keep them until I ran out of shelf and needed space.

  4. Hi Jill, I have a keeper shelf. Love the name since I started to review, I’ve learned so many new cool names, like the keeper shelf from writers.
    I do have a kindle, but still have favs I’ll buy in paperback, to have a complete series. But I love my kindle, and that’s my keeper shelf now.

  5. Cari, I have a Nook but I still love some books in paperback or hard cover. I have all my Tess Gerritsen’s in hard cover. Her characters of Rizzoli and Isles are awesome.

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