I love books. No big surprise, huh? I love the feel, the smell, the potential. Books are small dormant packages capable of holding life-changing creativity. Not to mention that they make fabulous shelf objects.
I love to own books. I don't feel right unless I have piles of books around me. Options on how to spend my day; friends beckoning with alluring looks and quiet voices. I might take my e-reader on vacation, but I still bring a real book (or four) with me to keep me company. I love to see them on my shelves, smiling down at me--remembering bursts of laughter and silent tears, aloof books inviting me to become a new old friend.
But I don't keep every book I read. I don't even keep every book I enjoy. I don't buy books simply to build my library, nor do I keep books to show all I've read. I scour my shelves once or twice a year, looking for those that are ready for a new home, willing to make space for recent acquisitions. If I love a book so much that the characters pop into my mind unbidden; if I want everyone I will ever know to have the chance to read it; if I am ridiculously proud that I've read such a ridiculously long book with a ridiculously prestigious reputation written a ridiculously long time ago; or, occasionally, if I think my children may be interested in it at some point when it will no longer be easily accessible at a library; it stays on my shelf.
Unlike my older brother whose book shelf apparently only reflects the books he didn't like enough to pass on.
What do you keep on your shelf?