As readers, we all have favorite books. They are the stories we can’t bear to part with, ones that live on in our memories. The books we’d keep on our shelves forever, if such a thing were possible. Years may pass but their presence lets us know there is a wondrous volume just waiting for us to again open its cover and lose ourselves in some amazing world.
I admit that I’m a book hoarder. To me books are precious. It’s hard to let go of the many I’ve enjoyed and my to-be-read pile grows ever higher. In time I know I must downsize. I’ll need to pass on my scores of books, giving them to others to enjoy their magic. My Kindle will make downsizing easier. The frailties of old age will make it easier still. But there are a few volumes I know I’ll cling to as long as humanly possible. These books are my true favorites, my keepers. I enjoy being surrounded by them and cherish their presence in my life.
As a writer, I dream of publishing a book that makes someone’s list of keepers. I long to write words that might touch and inspire others even half as much as other writers’ words have touched me. A grandiose dream perhaps, but not an impossible one. I have faith.
Beyond books, there are other keepers in our lives. I love movies and count many among my keepers. Like books, favorite DVDs line my shelves so I can watch them again and again. Last of the Mohicans, Gone With the Wind, Gettysburg, The Fugitive, Sweet Home Alabama, The African Queen…my list is long. Good stories and characters, well produced, well acted. Like my keeper books, these movies have become old friends.
Some people keep and prize sports memorabilia; they cherish having it around them. Other souls value music, or fine works of art. They take great joy in its presence.
But I believe that the keepers to be most valued in life are not books, not movies. They are not music, not art, not any sort of collectibles. The real keepers in life are the people who live beside and around us. Of course, we don’t refer to these folk as keepers, someone to cherish and hold on to. Instead we call them husband, wife, son, daughter, mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, friend, co-worker, or neighbor. Whatever their name, they are the angels that make up our daily lives. We may not always fully appreciate the goodness they harbor, but it is strong, rich, and true.
During my recent heartbreaking loss, uncounted angels wrapped their wings around me bringing a comfort I wouldn’t have thought possible. Through words, prayers, and untold kindnesses, I knew I was not alone. In the absence of my soul mate, I might have been lonely, but never, ever alone.
We all need angels in our lives, guardians to watch over us in time of crisis and need. Through my grief, I’ve seen an overwhelming prevalence of goodness and sympathy in this world. I’ve found there is a prevalence of true keepers.
Angels, all. ♥
Some of my “keeper” books are, in no particular order: Nine Coaches Waiting and Madam Will You Talk and Touch Not the Cat, all by Mary Stewart; Window on the Square and Sea Jade by Phyllis A. Whitney; Mistress of Mellyn and Bride of Pendorric by Vicotria Holt; The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy; and (authors writing now) books by Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn, Heather Graham, Beth Ciotta and Cara Summers.
You’re a keeper too Deb!
Amazing, Roni, how many keeper books we share. Good books, good writers! You, too!
I find myself getting lost in your words. Please know, that just because I am far away in distance – you are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
Ah Cathy, I so wish we lived closer. Family shouldn’t be so distant but at least we have the internet! Thank you so much for your prayers.
Books that are keeper–too many to mention but I have whittled them down to one very full shelf. It contains a copy of Don Quixote, a book of favorite Robert Frost poems and another of Emily Dickenson, several Jane Austen, John Galsworthy’s Forsythe Saga, James Clavel’s books, James, Michener’s, a few biographies I can’t part with, and, well, you get the drift–one very hodgepodge of fiction and non-fiction, classics and not.
But you are so right about the real keepers in our lives being those people we collect in our lives who are always there for us. I’ve been blessed also and I’m so glad you have been blessed also. We need those angels in our lives.
I almost posted a cover from Emily Dickenson (also one of my keepers) but I liked the Jane cover better. 🙂
My keepers include: Jane Austen’s Emma (P&P & S&S, & Persuasion too); Tolkein’s LOTR; Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, Justine Davis’ Lord of the Storm (and almost everything else she wrote); Connie Willis’ The Doomsday Book (and also her Blackout/All Clear); and J.K. Rowling, particularly the 5th & 6th books, and that one remarkable sequences about the Three Brothers and the King’s Cross Station from the 7th book).
My personal keeper is my best friend, who purchased every single title on my website 10 minutes after I tentatively sent around an e-mail telling my family and friends I thought maybe it might sort of be live. (still brings tears to my eyes!)
You’ve mentioned a few new titles, Claudia. They sound interesting.
What a wonderful friend you have. A true personal keeper!! Thanks so much for your comments.
Uplifting post. Emily Dickenson is definitely a keeper, too.
Yes, I agree. Really should start quoting her more…such insight. Thanks, Angelyn (beautiful name!).
Lovely post, Deb. Thinking of you often…
Thank you, Jen.
I HAVE BEEN THINKING OF YOU AND WONDERING HOW YOU WERE COPING WITH YOUR LOSS. I SEE YOU ABLE TO EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS SO ELOQUENTLY AND THAT THE GRIEVING HAS CREATED A NEW WORLD FOR YOU. YOU ARE AN AMAZING WOMAN. I WISH YOU ONLY THE BEST. DO NOT STOP BEING THE CREATIVE PERSON YOU’VE WORKED SO HARD TO BECOME.
THANK YOU FOR THE POST – LINDA
Thank you for your words, Linda. I need to immerse myself into a writing routine. Only good can come from it. Thanks for caring.
Deb, I was so glad to see you’d posted again. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Please know everytime you tap those keys and send someting out to the world, you touch people. You have an amazing gift and must continue sharing it with others. You enrich our lives that way.
As to books. While I don’t have all those Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney books anymore, they are in my head. Some people do make pictures with words. Current writer for me is Carla Neggars. Her descriptions of New England take me there.
Thank you for your kind words, Marsha. They mean a lot.
We have similar tastes. It’s been decades since I read many of the Holt and Whitney books but they do linger, don’t they. Carla Neggars is a great storyteller who paints remarkable scenes. Definite keeper material there! Thanks for stopping in.
I keep and replace when they start to fall apart all my Georgette Heyers, Dorothy Dunnetts and Jane Austens. Most of the other books are philosophers, Jeremy Bentham, De Tocqueville, Plato and Aristotle and the occasional poet.
Deb, I’m glad to see you’re doing well.
Interesting comments, Ella, about replacing your old favorites. I’m slowly replacing a few of mine on my Kindle. But there is nothing like paper, is there?
“Doing well”…yes, mostly. Trying hard to get back into the writing mode. it helps. Thank you.
Deb, my keeper books are ones written by good friends of mine. I have a too many go-to movies for me to list but I will say Sweet Home Alabama is one of them. I’m blessed with my family and friends and am glad you are, too.
Thanks for a great post!