What’s on your Keeper Shelf?

By Evan Bench  Paris  France -httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=92077354

By Evan Bench, Paris-httpscommons.wikimedia.org

Christina here. I’ve been reading a lot more than usual recently, not just on my Kindle but also trying to get through my TBR pile of physical books. It was getting ridiculous, although not quite as bad as the mess in this photo. Once I finish one, however, I have to find a space for it on my shelves and despite the fact that I have a LOT of bookshelves, this is getting increasingly difficult. That made me start thinking about what makes a book a keeper? This is probably a topic that’s been discussed before on Word Wenches, but I hope you don’t mind me reviving it?

I’ll confess that just about every book I read is a keeper for me because I find it a terrible wrench to part with any of them. I could probably Marie Kondo just about all my other possessions, but not the books. As long as I don’t actively dislike a novel (or even outright hate it!), I always hang onto it. And if my shelves become too full, the books get stacked sideways first as there always seems to be extra space at the top, or if necessary, double-stacked, although I really don’t like doing that. I want to be able to see at a glance what I’ve got.

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Childhood Reads and Influences

Little PrincessChristina here – I was chatting to some of my writing friends via FaceTime the other day and for some reason we started reminiscing about our favourite childhood reads. We came up with one great title after another and I thought back to those exciting days when I would go off to the library to browse the children’s section – there was so much waiting for me to discover! What really struck me, however, was how similar my reading experiences and tastes had been to those of my two friends – all the Enid Blyton stories (especially the Famous Five series), Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, L M Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, and many more. And because we all write romance now, it made me wonder whether we are all predisposed to liking certain types of stories from an early age? Is it tied up with our personalities or are we influenced by those around us?

GrimmPersonally, I seem to have been fixated on fairy tales, romance and happy-ever-afters right from the start. This could have been because of the stories I was told (my grandmother especially passed on lots of Swedish folklore), but as far as I can remember, my parents read me lots of different things and not just about princesses and castles. I just happened to like the romantic ones the best and I was hooked on fairy tales. Only the nice ones, though, I didn’t like the Brothers Grimm stories in their gory original versions (wasn’t Snow White’s step-mother’s punishment just horrendous?!?), and I positively loathed Hans Christian Andersen’s sad tales.

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