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Topic: How do you decide what to keep?

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Subject: How do you decide what to keep?
Date Posted: 5/3/2009 12:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
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I admit I'm addicted to books.  I love to get them, I love to read them, I just love to HAVE them.  Unfortunately, because of lack of space AND lack of budget, I have to give up more books than I'd like.  lol   I'm just curious - what makes you deem a book a "keeper"?  I very rarely reread a book, so in all honesty I don't know I keep ANY.    :)   My TBR pile is huge, my wish list on here is full....right now I have five books checked out of the library.  It's not like I'm lacking things to read!  But I cringe every time I post a book on here that I even remotely liked, knowing the probability of me reading it again is zilch.

Do you hate to give up books?  What determines whether you keep a book?


Date Posted: 5/3/2009 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
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I keep very few simply because I have so many that I haven't read and so many that I want to read.  I very rarely reread a book.  Usually the only ones I keep are the ones that are unpostable and hard to find.  But if there's a lot of copies on PBS or my library has it-it gets posted. 

You could look through your books and maybe post ones that you haven't even looked at in a long time. 

Last Edited on: 5/3/09 12:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/3/2009 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
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I only keep what I'd want to re-read.  It would have to have been an amazing book that left me speechless.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
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Do you hate to give up books?  What determines whether you keep a book?

I have "temporary keepers" and permanent keepers.  The temps are books in a series that I want to hang onto and skim or reread to get back up to date when the latest one comes out.  Once I'm done with the series though, it goes.

The perma-keepers are ones that I'd like to reread right then.  And from time to time I need the distraction of a book that I know I'm going to love, and get totally lost in, so I go to my keeper library and pick one.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
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Books that I keep rereading after I've finished them are automatically keepers. Used to be I would keep most books that were really good reads, but I don't reread that much anymore. Nowadays I mostly keep books that are by particularly good authors, so I will have a strong collection for the future... I think of it a little like laying down wine. ;-)

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
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I admit I'm addicted to books.  I love to get them, I love to read them, I just love to HAVE them.

amen!  i'm lucky enough to have a library room, which means i do get to keep books, but even then i still only have so much space.  i used to keep pretty much everything i liked.  now that TBR is huge, and i'm running out of keeper space, i keep it if i like it enough that i think i'll re-read it, especially if it's an ongoing series where i might want to re-read the earlier books when a new book comes out.  most of what i end up keeping is sf&f though, not too much romance.

i used to re-read a lot more than i've been doing since TBR grew so much after joining PBS.  :)

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
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I'm pretty much like Ellen with keepers (minus the library room to store them).  I used to reread all the time, because I read fast and take the train, so I couldn't buy new books to keep up with my pace.  Now I'm more selective and am slowly purging my keeper shelf.  I was keeping series books, but I found I don't necessarily need to reread a whole series when a new one comes out.  I try to keep only books that I want to reread.  Sometimes I read a book and immediately reread it and then go backlist hunting.  These are keepers for me.  I do tend to hang onto books I like that are heavily posted or unpostable even if they might not be strictly keepers, because they are tough to get rid of and the book is worth more to me than a freebie incentive.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
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The books I am currently keeping, I might not reread them, but they were SO good that just looking at the book brings it all back to me, and I might want to read them. At any rate some of them I may give up eventually, but I will keep them for a few years JIC....others I will never give up whether I reread them at some point or not.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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This is such a good question because I have been trying to decide how to give up books I loved. Now I know that Outlander will always live at my house because I wanted to reread it as soon as I finished it. I guess that should be my criteria. Of course there are some that I can't believe I bought in the first place and can't wait to get rid of!

Mary L. said:   But if there's a lot of copies on PBS or my library has it-it gets posted. How do you know if PBS has a lot of copies?



Date Posted: 5/3/2009 4:53 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
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You can see how many copies of a book are in the PBS system by adding the book to your reminder list.  Then, when you look at your Reminder List, it'll say how many copies are available.

I used to keep EVERYTHING.  Of course, now I have way too many books and I'm slowly purging thru them with a long-term goal to get rid of all boxes of books and only use my bookshelves for keepers.  Nowadays, a keeper is something I pick up and re-read at least parts of.  A book that lingers in my mind after I'm done with it.  I'm finding some books are temporary keepers and reside with me for a while before I repost them.

I'm finding that since I'm on my purging kick, I'm finding very few books I want to permanently hang on to.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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same problem for me though I'm trying to get rid of some but first I have to read them and decide!

I have some I will never part with and I actually do re-read or at least skim through parts of. some are black and white I know I loved them or I know I hated them. also keep stuff that goes in a series..have to have part of the series and not the others though I dont' always like all the books in that series...I recently postes some books I did like but s ince they weremysteries and nothing but the mystery appealed ot me I posted them...I k eep the tea shop mysteries because I read those for the tea descriptions and not the mystery itself.

it's easier for my to part with something I know I wont' re-read if it's wishlisted..I do bad keeping a bookshelf  here and take those to ubs usually though that means I have to get more books with the credits. sigh...

gonna read the other replies when I get to work! maybe I'll get some good info!

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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For me I use the criteria "Am I willing to loan this book to a friend and maybe not get it back?"   If I can't do it, its a keeper.  If I can part with it that way, its posted

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2006
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I very rarely reread a book so I only keep what I know I will want to read again. Even then I might not keep it if I know it is easily obtained here. I will keep ones that are hard to find or ones that were just so good that I can't bear to pass it along yet. The funny thing is that I haven't reread anything that I kept so far! I just know I would want to go back to it given the chance that I run out of books to read, lol, like that is EVER going to happen!

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I'm another one of those used to keep everything people, or rather, everything except the stuff I really didn't like.  My biggest problem with keeping things I don't really want comes from series stuff where I liked some of the books, but kept all of them because they were a series:P  I'm just now starting to get into weeding those out and it comes down to unless there are any real keepers in there - books I will definitely read again - they all have to go, and I only keep the ones worth keeping.  Others I keep & shouldn't are the pesky hard to find & "collectible" books that I didn't love, but hate to get rid of because they either cost the moon or were sheer hell to get a copy of.  That feels too much like being enslaved by stuff to me, and I don't much care for it, so I've recently been considering giving a lot of those books up too.

Date Posted: 5/3/2009 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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I'm with those who have specific keepers you know you will re-read - those I keep. I know because at the end of it, I love it! If I'm on the fence, I probably keep it. If I just liked it, or even really liked it, but didn't "love" it (5 stars) it goes back into the FIFO queue. And I do re-read - sometimes several times! I have not re-read everything on my keeper shelf, but I have re-read many of them. It's like visiting with a beloved old friend!

I have a lot of downloaded audio books which can't be given away anyway, and I do re-listen to them, and often come to love them even more on re-listening, so I do keep everything in a series where I had some keepers and some not, since I now know I'll come to like the whole series better on a re-read.

So for me - 5 stars, probably a keeper; anything less than 5 stars goes back on the list.

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2008
Posts: 167
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Like some of you have already said, I can usually tell by the end of the book if it is going to be a keeper. For me a keeper is a book I know/think I will reread many times (and by many I mean 3 or more). "Maybe keepers" get a spot on my keeper shelf for about a year, if I haven't reread it by then it gets posted. In deciding on maybe books it helps that my library has a huge interlibrary loan pool and that I belong to a netflix type book lending site as well as PBS. There are very few books that I can't find again if I change my mind. My keeper shelf is my version of comfort food   :-) a guaranteed feel good escape and no extra calories!

 Edit because I cannot spell.

Last Edited on: 5/4/09 10:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/4/2009 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/16/2007
Posts: 165
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Most of my keepers are old favorites that I love to reread but I have begun to collect some from authors that rarely disappoint me. My biggest requirement in a keeper is of course the reread factor.

Will I reread this book? If not, then it automatically gets posted here or tossed into the donation box. Those I'm not sure about get to go to the keeper shelves until I decide for sure. Of course upon occasion I get rid of a book and then wish I didn't but I have too many books to worry about it too much.

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2009
Posts: 31
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My big "keeper" clue is if the book is part of a series. I'll keep those books at least until the series is complete as I usually do re-read those books in prep for the next release. The other clue for me is if the book speaks to me on some level to the point where I'm sure I'll re-read it. I have maybe a half-dozen authors that I love everything they write and I keep those books until they fall apart LOL But like someone else said, if a book sits for more than a year or two without someone in the house reading it then it goes...which is something I've only recently gotten to the point of because I love being surrounded by books!

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Others I keep & shouldn't are the pesky hard to find & "collectible" books that I didn't love, but hate to get rid of because they either cost the moon or were sheer hell to get a copy of.  That feels too much like being enslaved by stuff to me, and I don't much care for it, so I've recently been considering giving a lot of those books up too.

Perhaps it would help to consider how much other people would like to have those books? I hate the "enslaved by stuff" feeling, I'm always fighting my hoarding urges.

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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I used to buy all my books new and generally kept those by favorite authors to reread.  Now that I've discovered the online book trading sites, I rarely have any keepers because my TBR mountain is so huge, it would crush me to death in an earthquake.  I only keep a few nowadays and they have to be very special and absolutely ones that I will reread again, not just think that I might want to reread.  I'm trying very hard to purge the books from my TBR mountain because my reading tastes have evolved over the past few years.  Sometimes it is so hard to give up books but I don't have much storage space and tired of tripping over books every 10 steps.

Sylvia W. (Sly1) - ,
Date Posted: 5/18/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/26/2009
Posts: 14
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I am blessed with a small library room, but still limits have to be set.  I will occassionally reread books if I really liked them, but they have to be books that caused a strong emotional response in me, made me cry, made me sigh, etc.  I am currently trying to track down a book I read 10-15 yrs ago, because I liked it so much, but can't remember title, author etc, just parts of the plot.  I sure wish I had kept that book........

Date Posted: 5/18/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I keep very few.  In fact, the only books I am going to keep is the Outlander series in HB.

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 4
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Any books that make me smile when I glimpse it on the shelf.  If I don't remember the characters, it goes.  I'm also a book addict and hate to part with any book, but if my library stocks it and I thought it was good (but not amazing), I'll swap it. 

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I have maybe 30 books on my keeper shelf now.  I did a major paring down and decided to have a "desert island keeper" shelf.  A book has to be so fantastic that I have absolutely no problem reading it over and over and would want it with me if I were stranded somewhere.  ;-)  Quality over quantity.

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2008
Posts: 2,207
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A few authors are auto-keepers regardless of how long it's been since I read their books; some I keep because of plot or setting which seem like pretty lame reasons but there was that certain 'something' about the books that struck a chord with me.

I had some old Candlelight Ecstasy keepers that I broke down and put in the donation bag - figured after all this time they may be so outdated with the way people lived 20 years ago that they'd seem comical these days; I'm still debating getting rid of my Candlelight Rachel Ryans, and my Desire Stephanie James - there's no way I could justify rereading any of them to see if I still want them, not with the size of my TBR pile, so it's either keep them out of sentimental reasons, or be cold-blooded and get rid of them. I hate making decisions like that.

I, too, suffer from having a hard time parting with some stuff; I'm getting much, much better at decluttering but my books are the last enemy to conquer. I keep so few books these days, very proud of myself. Like Sherri, a keeper has to be soooo good that I'd want to reread it more than once. The last keepers I put on my shelf were the Blackbird Sisters mysteries by Nancy Martin. I loved them so much that I ordered them all new so I'd have pristine copies (I read them from the library) and liked them so much I wanted to go back to the first book and reread them all right away. Since reading them I've only put 2 books on the KS, two Kristi Gold Desires because they're part of a series; maybe once I've read through the series I'll get rid of them all. Needed them for the backstory.