The keeper shelf for an eclectic reader can be a thing of wonder and mystery. You wonder how one person can possibly enjoy all these different books. Dick Francis sits next to Julie Garwood and one shelf up from Laurie Berenson. Anne McCaffery overflows onto Suzanne Brockmannâ€™s spot and Nora Roberts fills in the non existent holes. Ayn Rand lives next shelf up from Laurie R. King. And thatâ€™s just the fiction bookshelf. Non fiction covers canine structure and health, herbs, raptors, all phases of horsemanship through the ages and organic gardening (did you know just having the books doesnâ€™t make you an organic gardener? You actually have to get out a shovel and DIG.)
Most of these books are allowed out on loan to people who can pass a government level security check. After all, theyâ€™re just books, right? Yeah, right.
Then thereâ€™s the “real” keeper shelf. Books tattered and torn, spines carefully taped over, and pages brittle with age. Here you find Andre Norton, who did more for fantasy writing than any ten other authors. Laura London – surely youâ€™ve read Windflower? Have you found Lighting that Lingers, probably the most romantic book of all times? Remember the owl? Remember her loving him even though she just knew he was a bad, bad person?
And here, also, you find Theresa Weir. Not just the wonderful bigger books like Last Summer (bad boy actor and small town school teacher), Cool Shade (an agoraphobic former rock star and an insecure DJ), Bad Karma (a for-real psychic and a disillusioned sheriff whoâ€™s forgotten how to dream), Amazon Lily (the ultimate jungle romance); but also the smaller books, where every word is a treasure, and you only wish the book could last forever. Loving Jenny, about ordinary people in an ordinary small town where we all wish we could live.
Itâ€™s no wonder I canâ€™t settle down to one style of writing, or confine myself to one era. Right after I read Saving Grace for the umpteenth time, I pick up a perfectly crafted mystery set among horses in England, only to move on to a perfect love story about ordinary people who live ordinary lives but love each other extraordinarily. Maybe I could write more if I boxed up all these books out of sight, but Iâ€™m not going to risk my sanity with that kind of experiment!