Sunday, June 07, 2020

It's Time to Browse My Keeper Cases! (Part One)

Since you finished taking a look at my To-Be-Read shelves a few weeks ago, I had to follow through on my promise to show you my Keeper Cases. There are two of them, one on either side of the big picture window in the living room. The one you see in the photo is my Fiction Keeper Case. Looks nice and tidy, doesn't it? For any of you eagle-eyed readers who spotted the Target bags behind the dining room table, those bags hold the books I weeded from that bookcase.

Yes, I can and do change my mind about what books I keep. In this reorganization, two series bit the dust and will be donated so others can enjoy them. Which ones? Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (although I did keep the first book) and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Both contained pretty hefty volumes, so their absence is the main reason why there are two large gaps on the shelves.

Several of you have probably also noticed the two flag cases on top. They hold the flag my mother was given at my father's funeral, and the flag I was given at my grandfather's funeral.

Enough backstory! In this post, I'm going to share photos of the six shelves on the left side of the bookcase. I've purposely left the file sizes large so you can do whatever you need to do in order to see the titles of the books. Next week, I'll share the right side of the bookcase. (I still haven't touched the other Keeper Case. I'm waiting for inspiration to strike. Or is that energy?)

Shelf 1

This shelf should be proof that, yes, I do like poetry!

Shelf 2

More poetry and some of my favorite books when I was a child and just starting out on this lifelong pleasure journey.

Shelf 3

Three of my favorite college textbooks. Favorite anthologies. Worn childhood favorites.

Shelf 4

Now we're getting into the adult fiction! Those six elderly books written by Dora Aydelotte I will never get rid of. Ever. No one's heard of her now, but back in the 1930s or so, she was rather popular and compared to Willa Cather-- and she once lived in my little farm village in central Illinois. In fact, Moweaqua is the setting for some of those books. After my mother and I left town, the people running the library allowed something that Mom never would: they allowed the big city library to have a say in what books stayed on the shelves. A big book sale ensued, and my dear friend rescued Dora Aydelotte's books from the sale and sent them to me. Even when he told them who Aydelotte was, they didn't care. Well, one thing's certain-- I care!

The other books are favorites. Some of them are autographed. Some have a blurb from one of my reviews. Some might even be dedicated to me.

Shelf 5

More favorites. Someone once offered me a large sum of money for that skinny paperback, Joshua Son of None. It's obvious that I said "No Sale!"

Shelf 6

More favorites... and room for more. When you see next week's post dealing with the other side of the bookcase, you'll know why I left this empty space here on the bottom shelf!

As in the case of my TBR bookcase posts (one, two, three, four, five), feel free to ask me to identify any titles you can't decipher and want to know about. (That's why I've numbered the shelves.)

Do we share some DNA when it comes to the books we keep? Favorite childhood books? Favorite textbooks? Favorite adult fiction? Oh! I'd also like to extend my apologies to any librarians who peruse these shelves. I know they're not in strict alphabetical order. Shame on me!


  1. Very impressive shelves of favorite books. I also started reading mysteries with the Detective Holmes (except for Nancy Drew), and enjoyed those books.
    I'm not a bit fan of poetry, but there are some poets I do like, including Pablo Neruda. He has a poem about everyday, routine objects, which is fascinating.
    Do you see the film, Il Postino," in which Neruda has an important role. I loved it years ago.
    And I saw Nevada Barr books. Anna Pigeon is a favorite protagonist of mine. Have read all but one book in that series. wish she continued to be a park ranger.
    I have a huge double booksheld and a lot of favorite books are on it, and books that belonged to relatives and former partners. It includes a set of books by Plato, Aristotle and a third Greek philosopher which belonged to my father. I'm going to give up the Nero Wolfes because the print is in a 2-point font and I'll never reread them.

    1. Yes, I did see Il Postino. I've read all the Anna Pigeon books; I just decided to keep my favorites in the series.

  2. Thanks for sharing your shelves, Cathy. I do something similar with my books. There are some I will never give up. Like you, I keep different sorts of books (I have a bit poetry, too!). Then I go through and cull once in a while. Otherwise, I'd have to have a home full of bookshelves, and not much else!

    1. My house had reached that point, and that's when I knew I had to dial it WAY back!

  3. Ah, Cathy, some very nice books on your 'keeper' shelves. Think you could read the print in those paperback Clavell books? Ha! I saw several that I've read and several I'd love to pick up and thumb through. I love the look of old books on shelves. Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Thank you for sharing! If that's The Secret Garden a couple of books left of Little House, then I think you have the same edition I do :)

    My shelves also have a copy of Ancient Mariner, and Shogun. And I spy several other books that I enjoyed, but did not keep - there's just enough overlap to make it obvious why I appreciate your blog, and just enough difference to keep everything interesting.

  5. I have kept several of my English books from college, including the good old Riverside Shakespeare that my kids have even used a time or two! I have all my Little House books and the Betsy Tacy series from when I was a kid. And I can't zoom in enough on that plaid spine o shelf one--if it has to do with the plaids of Scotland, it may be like one my Grandma had!

    1. I should take a photo of how I marked up the English Romantics textbook. You'd never believe that I'm currently a reader who does not dogear, who does not notate, and who can leave a book looking as though it's never been read!

      The plaid volume on the first shelf is the Poetry of Robert Burns. "My heart's in the Highlands, My heart is not here..."

      I had my Riverside Shakespeare for years and years, but... (looking all around to make sure no one's listening) although I know the Bard is great, I've never really been that much of a fan. (Although I can quote him like a good'un.)

  6. My sister sings songs written to Robert Burns' poetry. She is a classical soprano and she sings beautifully.

    And I confess I don't read Shakespeare for pleasure, haven't read his works since high school. But I read enough blogs of British readers and bloggers to know that they actually do read Shakespeare for pleasure.

    1. I admire the ones who do. He had a turn of phrase that no one else has ever been able to match, but I admit to preferring to watch his work being performed rather than read it.


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