I have a lot of books, but most of them are in boxes in a storage room.
I keep a photography book that my son gave me on a table in my living room because I like to look at the pictures.
I keep some poetry books and a Bible in my office because I like to read them - but poetry is really the only sort of literature that I'd read more than once - so they're the ones I keep out along with my dictionary and thesaurus.
I also have some atlases - of America and Great Britian. I like to look at maps.
I have all my fiction books packed away except my first editions of all of Pearl Buck's books (The Good Earth is signed by Pearl Buck and inscribed to Will Rogers) and Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
My father gave them to me and I keep them on shelves in my little 'snug' room along with all my vinyl albums. I keep them out because they remind me of my father and I enjoy remembering and thinking about him. I don't reread them at all though. I just look at them while I'm listening to music.
I have about fifteen cookbooks out on my kitchen counter - this kitchen has a good amount of counter space, so there's room for them there.
I keep my library books - the ones I'm currently reading- on my bedside table. I only read in bed - even newspapers.
I no longer buy books, but I keep the ones I have because they are meaningful to me and I want my children to have them. A lot of them were given to me by my father - he also loved to read and encouraged me in my love of reading. I've kept all my childhood books and all the childrens' books I bought and loved to read to my children. I'm hoping they read them to their children someday.
That's why I don't give them away - also because I'm a sentimental keeper. I can't give anything away that means something to me or has brought me good memories.
For instance, I'm glad I kept all my vinyl albums while everyone else was selling theirs. I've lugged them around from house to house and was beginning to feel a little silly doing that, but now I have this machine that allows me to download my albums - I can make them into cd's.
Who knows - maybe one of my kids will have a little girl who likes to read Pearl Buck and Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie books like I did - my daughter loved them - maybe her daughter will too.
So I think long and hard before I just give stuff away.