Wednesday, March 14

To Keep or Not to Keep...

I pulled this quote from Cheryl's review of Laura Lee Guhrke's And Then He Kissed Her on AAR:

As I read, I was pleased to be enjoying a very strong B+ romance. However, I have since found myself going back and rereading several scenes, and when I finish this review, the book is going right on my Keeper Shelf - that all adds up to a DIK in my book. And Then He Kissed Her is smart and sexy and fun and I highly recommend it.
And this got me thinking about when I make the to keep or not to keep decision. The desire to reread scenes or the entire book is usually a sure sign the book's going to be a keeper. But ultimately I don't make the "decision" until I purge books, and that only happens once or twice a year. I'm much better at making this decision when the afterglow of a book has worn off. If after all that time I still want to reread or the book has something that draws my attention I'll keep it. I also have a tendency to keep books that are part of an on going series, at least as long as the series holds my attention.

So, I wonder how and when do you decide To Keep or Not To Keep?


Sam said...

A book is a keeper when I know I'll want to read it again. So I out it on my shelf for another day.
I love re-reading old favorites.
One I drag out a lot is "I Captured the Castle" by Dodie Smith, but I lent it to someone who moved to the south of France, so now I need a new copy!

Jennie said...

I'm pretty much the same way as you--I have trouble getting rid of anything right after I read it. Even books I didn't particularly like or were DNFs. But in a few months it's easier to make the decision. And to be honest, I don't reread many books except my absolute favorites, so I don't know why I feel this compulsion to keep EVERYTHING. :)

Sam--I loved I Captured the Castle too! Though the ending always seemed a little sad.

meljean brook said...

I used to keep everything, but lately I just can't (shelf space) -- if I'm going through and purging, and I do find myself flipping through to reread a scene that I liked, I will keep it.

So for me, I guess I don't have to love the whole book -- I have plenty of keepers that I haven't looked at in years except to read a certain section of it. But I do have to at lease love a scene.

Rosie said...

Sometimes I know when I finish a book that it's going in the to-be-traded pile right away. However, more often than not it gets put in the review-before-trading basket.

Even books I shelve I check out at least twice a year when I go through all my bookshelves and see if I've changed my mind and can purge any or put them in storage. Like Meljean, if I had the room, I'd keep more books.

I think you mentioned at Dear Author yesterday in the discussion aobut what kind of reader you are that between buying, trading, purging, blogging, and reading books it is a full time job. I agree! But I guess that's what one does when they are passionate about something.

Emily said...

I would love to say that I have a spoil proof plan for what to keep and what to not keep, however, I don't. Instead, I keep everything. I have a very hard time parting with a book even if it's not that good. That is why my bookshelves are overflowing and doublestacked and sagging down the floors. I keep hoping that some day I'll have a nice big library that I can fill up with all those books :)

Wendy said...

I usually know right after I read the last page. I have zero to reread, so the book has to have what I call the "A-Ha" factor. It has to speak to me on a deeper emotional level - how new-agey does that sound?

In other words - if I'm still thinking about the book days after I finish it then I keep it. The exception here are the truly hideous books tend to stick in my memory too. For that I'm thinking of developing a homemade lobotomy system.

Kristie (J) said...

Well - I keep pretty much everything - and I have the library to prove it :) But I do have a special shelf for those keepers of the keepers. I'm not quite sure how I decide which ones those are. I just knows when I reads.

Wendy said...

Le sigh. That should be "zero TIME to reread." Duh.

Ann(ie) said...

A story has to be a wall-banger before I'd give it away. I freakin' love my books. So "keeper" isn't a tough one for me.

Tara Marie said...

Sam, I've never read I Captured the Castle, but to be honest, I try to avoid books as with sad endings--to many sad endings in life.

Jennie, I always think a DNF might somehow heal itself and become a better book, hate getting rid of them too. But like you said a few months does make the decision easier.

Meljean, I reread "sections" all the time. Some of my favorite books wouldn't be favorites if I actually reread the whole thing--does that make sense??--LOL

Rosie, I did mention my book habit is a full time job--LOL. Too bad it doesn't pay anything.

Emily, I can understand not wanting to part with any books, but I have a husband who doesn't quite understand that, so I have to purge once in a while :D

Wendy, I guess you're just a new agey kind of girl, maybe it comes from living in CA :D I know when a books not a keeper after reading it, it's the ones that leave me thinking long term that end up being keepers.

I figured zero meant zero time :)

Kristie, If I had your library space I'd probably keep more, I've got a tremendous amount of shelving, but it's all full along with several tubs and boxes.

Annie, I freakin' love my books. ME TOO :D

nath said...

I'm a book blogger :D if I could finish the book and didn't hate it, then I keep it :D but most probably, it's going to go in the back of my shelves (I'm triple stacking my shelves nowadays ^^;) If it's a book that I'm going to re-read and re-read because I liked it so much, then I try to find it a place in the front :) and so, when I purge, I start from the back... but usually, the books I get rid of are usually books that I've never read because the feeling is gone (you know, the one that made you buy it) or books I couldn't stand.

ReneeW said...

I only keep books I think I may want to read again. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to walk through the house. But I have a few series that I didn't want to break up but only like one or two of them. And I collect a few favorite authors even though I may never read them again. I just want to have them. The rest I figure I can trade away and get another book and let someone else enjoy it. A win-win situation :)

Sam said...

I didn't think the ending to "I Captured the Castle" was sad at all!
It's funny how two people can see the same thing differently. You'll have to read it now, Tara Marie, and decide which of us is right!
Dodie Smith also wrote 'A Hundred and One Dalmations' and the book is really excellent.

Tara Marie said...

Nath, the books I get rid of are usually books that I've never read because the feeling is gone (you know, the one that made you buy it) I know exactly--the "what was I thinking when I bought this one" feeling :D

Renee, I wouldn't be able to walk through the house. That's my husbands biggest complaint, but then I get the urge periodically just to clean house. I don't buy enough used to compensate for what I spend on new, so I end up donating a lot of mine to church and animal programs.

Sam, I guess I'll be looking for "I Captured the Castle" :D

CindyS said...

For me, if a scene in a book gives me the tummy dip, it's on the keeper shelf. I have been known to keep a book for one scene alone (which is dangerous). I keep all AS because I know one day I'm just going to want to re-read every single one. I have kept my JG historicals because of the memories and I have Linda Howard's books - even then ones I didn't really like - I sometimes think I will re-read them and find out it was my mood.

Anything I can't finish can get out of my house ;)


Jane said...

I just finished this one and absolutely loved it. I would definitely NOT have read it had it not been for you blogging about it. :) Thanks!

Mad said...

For me a book is a keeper if I find myself going back to it again and again, rereading favorite scenes. Also, if it makes me cry, it's a keeper. :)

Tara Marie said...

Cindy, I'm a LH fangirl, probably the closest I come to being a true fangirl, because I can't imagine anyone not loving her books--LOL, so it must be the frame of mind thing when reading :D

Jane, I'm glad you read it and loved it. Guhrke's an absolute favorite. I'm looking forward to your review.

Mad, I don't know why I'm surprised so many people reread scenes, for some reason I thought I was the only one to do this.