Do you have keeper books? I’ve blogged before about mine. They’re the ones I read over and over. They live on their own special shelf in my bedroom. I wouldn’t dream of reading them as e-books. I go back to them in times of stress or illness; I recommend them to others but never lend them out. A book finds a spot on the keepers shelf if it truly touches my heart, lifts my spirit or demonstrates a literary or storytelling genius of the sort I aspire to. Sometimes I find all three in one book.
Sometimes specific copies become personal treasures. I’m not talking so much of rarity or monetary value, though there are some very beautiful collector’s editions out there and I do own, and love, a set of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books published by the Folio Society. I’m speaking, rather, of a book given or bequeathed by a well-loved family member or friend, or acquired under memorable circumstances; a book whose history makes it particularly special to the owner. It might be an old book – one of those in my picture is a 1906 edition, another dates from the 1940s. It might be too well loved to qualify as collectible anymore, its pages and cover bearing the marks of a long life – a venerable great-grandparent of a book.
My house has bookshelves in every room. I went on a hunt, looking for examples.