Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Books I’ve Read That I Keep In My Personal Library



At one time, I counted over 6,000 books in my personal library. I had twelve huge bookshelves crammed full of books.

I've been downsizing for some time now. I keep very few books now. I only hang onto those that I feel I might read again.

Here is my single shelf of keepers* (l-r, and then on top):

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Love is a Wild Assault by Elithe Hamilton Kirkland (historical fiction set in the county where I live)
Independent People by Halldor Laxness
The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Secret History by Donna Tart
The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Possession by A. S. Byatt
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (in English, Spanish, and French)
The World is Not Enough by Zoé Oldenbourg (my favorite historical fiction)
The Windup Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Happenstance by Carol Shields
The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Moby Dick by Herman Melville** 

What fiction titles do you keep? Do you have any overlap with your shelf and mine? Have you read any of these? Are there any you want to read? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


*This, of course, is only a shelf of fiction that I keep. I also have many shelves of nonfiction, poetry, and reference books. So don't admire me for my restraint yet.

**Would you look and see what has ended up on my Keeper Shelf?! Yeah, it took me a month and 655 pages, but I've finally managed to fall for the old whale book. Glory be.



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

27 comments:

  1. My personal library is hel in my Kindle. As for real books they are mostly reference I use on my Church Explorer blog or some on disuded railways that I looked into at one time. Of my favorite books I like to read again it has to be the ones by R E Fiest and the hobbit and LOTR by Tolkine

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    1. I know more and more people keep all their favorites on their Kindles. I am trying to acquire all my favorites for my Kindle, too, but I'm mostly trying to find the nonfiction books that are handy to keep with you.

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  2. Oh wow, 6,000?! I think I'm just over 2,000! Lol. This was a harder topic because I tend to buy a book to give it a read, but I did manage it!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

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    1. That's a lot of books, isn't it?! I wonder how many I have now. Only three bookshelves now. Quite a bit less than a thousand, I imagine.

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  3. I used to keep books but I don't anymore. I did notice The Good Earth in your stacks. I read that in high school and would like to reread it to see if I'd like it as much as an adult.

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    1. I don't reread many books, but The Good Earth is one that I have reread several times.

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  4. The Good Earth is a true classic. Do you also like the rest of the books in that series?

    My TTT.

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    1. I have them all (on my Kindle, but I haven't read any of the others in the series.

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  5. Wow, 6,000 books is amazing! You have some really good ones on your list too!

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  6. Very good list! I need to finally read I, Claudius--I own a beautiful hardback copy.

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    1. It's an amazing story with a deeply flawed main character living in a decadent era.

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  7. I'm so impressed! I limit myself to one bookcase of favorites so I have to remove books if I want to keep new ones. My TTT

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  8. I've read 14 from your faves list. I once had over 1,000 physical books but, now just about 250 since we move 10 years ago. The older I get I'm also finding the print too tiny on some of my remaining print books preferring eBooks so I can adjust print.

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    1. Almost half. Yes, I probably need to move in that direction with the Kindle.

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  9. I downsize too and buy less physical books now as I get older. You seem to have a nice mix of keepers. I've never read watership Down or the secret History.

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  10. SIX...THOUSAND...!!! What made you decide to downsize? The sheer amount of times I've wanted to quickly revisit a book from my reading list 6-10 years ago only to grumpily find the local library's already weeded it is enough to make me think I never will.

    However, it's really cool that you can curate a list of favorite novels at a glance. Love the accompanying photo. Of yours, I only have The Little Prince, though I've enjoyed Anne of Green Gables, Gatsby and The Good Earth. Interested to read The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, though.

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    1. See how you feel when you are sixty. The amount of stuff: overwhelming. Simple, simple, simple.

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  11. I used to keep the books I read with my book groups, but now I keep the ones that really resonate with me. Not sure why I keep them since I am not a re-reader. :-)

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  12. Sometimes I read a book and keep it, then give it away and buy it again and lend it, then lose it because someone didn't return it. Sometimes I've owned and read a book (in the 70s or 80s or whatever) then given it away. Later in the 2000s when someone downsized and gave me their old books I owned it again. There is no rhyme or reason to my personal book collecting!

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    1. Yes, I'm afraid I am the same way. But I do intend to keep things to this one set of shelves.

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  13. You really have downsized! I currently have 3 shelves overflowing with books, and am in the process of downsizing as well. A lot of mine are ones I haven't read yet though! Jerry Spinelli made it to my "keep" shelf as well, though my pick was Maniac Magee. I read Stargirl too late in life I think... I feel like it would have made much more of an impact on me if I had read it when I was younger. I'm excited for the movie though! My most recent (library sale) purchase was The Bell Jar, but I haven't read it yet! I still need to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as well!

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    1. And I read Maniac Magee after I'd already read Stargirl....

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  14. Wow, 6000 books are a lot and take a lot of space. I have downgraded through the years, mostly when moving. I only have three bookcases left (Ikea Billy) and some books spreading out through the apartment. I have not saved any of the books that coincide with yours but read an loved:
    The Secret History by Donna Tart, Possession by A. S. Byatt, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Watership Down by Richard Adams, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (not yet read) and Moby Dick by Herman Melville (read along as an e-book).
    I mostly save non fiction books and some fiction books that I love a little bit extra. Half of the book case books are not yet read.

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Please share your thoughts.