Feb 8 2013 9:13am

Do You Have a Keeper Shelf?

Library lady

Romance readers often reference their “keeper shelf:” the books they love so much they will keep them forever.

In the age of ebooks, is the keeper shelf obsolete? Do you have a real keeper shelf—or is it virtual now? Did you even have a keeper shelf, back when paper was the only way to read books?

Photo courtesy Orange County Archives

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Jax Garren
1. Jax Garren
I still have my keeper shelf of all the books I bought pre-e. What I'm waiting for on the e-reader is some sort of tagging/shelving system so that I can, most importantly, mark a book once I've finished reading it. (I can't even say how many times I've looked through my cloud and wondered..."Have I already read that one?") Then an extra tag for "keeper shelf" so that I can have those in easy reach and no more, "Is that the one I loved or the one I DNFed, because they both have a blue cover and I don't remember the author's name..." I adore everything about electronic readers except my inability to shelve books!
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@Jax: I'm in the same boat as you, with keeper shelves pre-e, but I'm getting closer to getting rid of some of the paperback books I've bought again in e. The shelving thing is very hard to keep track of, for sure--wonder if Goodreads and some e-retailer will ever work something out so you can mark one as read and you'll know on the other?
3. bri_in_nj
I have both. I have a shelf for my print books. Some are pre-e and some are ones I can get cheaper in print than in e. I also have an e shelf in my Nook library. Alas, there is nothing on it yet, but that could because many of the better books I have read lately have been from the library. :)
Jax Garren
4. ncbooknut
I have a "real" keeper shelf that I am very slowly converting to my Nook. (This is a slow process for me because when I have available $$, there are usually new releases that I want to buy as well.) The advantages I see to having my keepers in virtual format are space and portability/availability. Of course, I also have some older books, that are not yet available in ebook format, so those will remain on my trusty dusty "real" bookshelf.

Jax - you might want to consider getting a nook. I have a nook Simple Touch and can create various shelves by author, genre, etc. I add all books to appropriate shelves when I first buy them. Then when I read a book, I archive it so it no longer appears in my "All" list. However, the book name with the "Archived" tag still appears on my shelves. If I want to see any books I have not yet read, I can go to my "All" list and not have to filter through my archives. If I want to re-read a book by a certain author, I can go to that shelf, unarchive the book and I'm good to go.
Jax Garren
5. Jax Garren
@MFrampton That's a great idea about sharing data between sites. I wonder if big conglomerates could ever work together that well? Haha! But I'd sure love it!

@ncbooknut That's cool about the Nook! I read everything on my phone ( then I don't need to buy a device). But I suppose the tagging would still appear on the phone reader? That sounds like a better system than the complete lack of one available on the Kindle!
6. keen23
I do have a keeper shelf (OK, I'm lying, it's a full keeper bookcase). These are my favorite authors. Writers like Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Jennifer Crusie- I have their entire catalog of work, and buying all of those in e-reader format would be expensive. When they go on sale, I'll grab them.
Rae Alley
7. rszalley
of course! Our (mine & my husband's) keeper "shelf" is actually a bookcase in our bedroom. At one point in time our pleasure books , so not the stuff we have from college as reference texts or my old scripts, was about 4 bookcases and took over the wall of one of our rooms. Between me replacing some as eBooks and just general purging of things that don't matter we're down to one and a shelf, not including our keeper case.
Jax Garren
8. Vol Fan
I have both. I still have a bunch of older books that I'm hanging onto, many of which haven't been issued for ebooks yet. With those that are ebooks also, I've set up a folder called "DIK" and I put them all in there. And for the extra-extra-special ones, I have both an ebook version and a paper version. :)
Jax Garren
9. Tammye
@Vol Fan
Me too about the ebook and a paper version! I have a keeper book room.
10. Kareni
I have a keeper shelf or seven. (Along with piles of to-be-read books.) All of my books are traditional paper; I do no e-reading.
Carmen Pinzon
11. bungluna
I have keeper shelves, keeper boxes and keeper repositories. I keep my mysteries at my mom's house. I keep my absolutley must re-read-once-a-year with me at all times and my when-the-whim-strikes are boxed up right now 'cause of an overseas move (we're military). I'm getting my most re-read keepers for my Kindle as they go on sale. However, I always buy a hard copy of any book I consider a keeper. I'm convinsed that the internet is just a passing fad (;-D) and I prefer to have a hard copy of any book I love for posterity.
12. MaryC
I have both. While I love my Nook for saving space and traveling, I still prefer print.
We went through an extended power outage a few months ago - if it weren't for my print copies, I wouldn't have been able to read.
Rakisha Kearns-White
13. BrooklynShoeBabe
I have a real keeper shelf. Even if I don't have the chance to pick them up and re-read them, there are books I loved so much that I can't give them away.
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