I was thinking up my next review - I sometimes start thinking of what to write before I've finished the book and it got me to thinking about keepers versus keeping. I'll come right out and say it. I'm a pack rat. I've watched that show on TLC about people who have professionals come and shovel out their homes things have gotten so bad and I worry that I could become them. I got into quite a bit of trouble at work recently due to my pack rat tendencies and I've managed to make drastic changes, but the skill set I've gained at work, sadly, hasn't transferred to my off work life yet. All of this is really irrelevant, but I have a glass of wine in front of my and I'm in a rambling mood and it helps to 'set the stage' for the topic.
When thinking of how to describe the book I'm reading, I asked myself if it was a keeper. Then I had to turn and look at myself - rather difficult to do with only one body and answer "Are you nuts??? You keep just about every book you buy!!!"
And I do!! They are having a book sale at work next week and I rounded up a bunch to take in, put them in a bag, but then couldn't seem to take them out of the house. I've done this with books destined for the Used Book Store on occasion too. I'll have a bag full and just as I'm about to open the car door and go into the book store, I'll look through what I have and end up taking about half of them out of the bag. So I was trying to figure out what makes a book a keeping book and came up with a few answers.
- Since I joined the online romance community, I don't seem to buy nearly as many 'bad' books as I used to. It's so easy to find reviews on either review sites or blogs and I know enough as to what I will probably enjoy and what won't work for me. I still make quite a few impulse buys and I think I have had above average luck in enjoying them.
- I hate breaking up series. The recent The Legend of the Four Soldiers series by Elizabeth Hoyt is a good example. I quite enjoyed the first two, To Taste Temptation and To Seduce a Sinner. Then I read To Beguile a Beast and didn't care for it at all. I just recently finished To Desire a Devil - and again I quite enjoyed this final book of the series. Now normally the third book would be in my trade-in bag, but that would 'break the series' and I can't do that.
- The 'it's not you, it's me' books. Often I start a book and there's nothing basically wrong with it and given a different mood, I could read it and really enjoy it. If I don't find anything wrong with the book; if the characters don't drive me bonkers, but I'm just not that into it, I'll hold onto it for another day.
- Gorgeous cover books. This is the shallow in me speaking. I've been known to buy a book based almost 100% on the gorgeous cover and then discovered the inside didn't nearly match the outside. But since it was the outside that tempted me, I have a hard time getting rid of it.
- The declining enjoyment. This is very similar to the breaking of series. An good example of this the Sons of Destiny by Jean Johnson. I LOVED the first three books of the series and have problem recommending them, but starting with The Song, I felt a declining enjoyment. As the island began filling with people and the heroines started becoming either annoying or bland, I wasn't 'feeling' them like the few few. But again, I didn't want to ruin the series. I've still yet to get the final book and I'm not sure if I will or not, but I don't want to get rid of the ones I didn't enjoy as much.
- The higher cost of trade size. I've been buying more and more trade sized books. I don't like that I pay more, though it's not so bad if I buy them online. I save 24% or more. But I see great reviews and since I don't know if they will come out in MM size and I get impatient, I get them trade size. And I figure I won't recoup the cost if I trade them in. Besides, since for the most part, with the exception of books, I'm pretty cheap, I don't get a trade size unless I'm pretty sure I will enjoy it so I don't have that many to trade in anyway.
- The ARC books. I don't have that many. I haven't worried about the recent hullabaloo over getting free ARC books and having to "declare" it because a) I live in Canada and not sure if the recent ruling applies to me and b) I don't get enough to worry anyway. I mainly just get copies from one publisher. But they have sent me a number that just don't appeal to me. I don't do funny vampire stories and I seem to get a number of them. But for some reason I can't explain, it just seems wrong to trade them in or get rid of them.
- Author signed books. I've gotten a number of them over the past three years at the conferences I've gone to. And I'll confess, some I haven't been able to get into at all. I can't think of any off the top of my head and probably wouldn't name them anyway. But I don't know what to do with them. If I've spoken to an author at a signing and she has taken the time to talk back to me and personally autograph a book, it seems somehow unkind to just dump it in the 'take to the UBS' bag. So I just store them in a box until I get a backbone and decide what to do with them.
So those are some of the reasons why I have so many books that I could get rid of but don't and why I don't have as many as I used to to get rid of. The idea a while ago was to not keep any book I rate as 3 or below but that doesn't always work for the above reasons.
If you are into keeping books - what decides whether you are keeping it or trading in? Do you keep books that aren't keepers in the truest sense? How do you decide whether to keep or get rid of - do you have a certain line that decides it? Are you one of those who gets rid of every book except for the cream of the crop and if you are, do you feel like you are losing out on the amount you have put into buying books?
I'm curious as to whether a lot of readers are like me and keep non keepers or if there are more who purge a lot more than I do!