Treasure Trove!

posted in: Uncategorized | 14

Disclaimer: If you follow my Facebook page, you will have already seen one of these pictures, but not the others!


We moved into our current house about 8 years ago this fall and, as happens when one moves households, a lot of boxes disappeared into the basement to be unpacked at a later date. However, we became pregnant shortly thereafter, and I spent the next 5 months sick as a dog and the following 4 getting ready for the baby (not to mention what happens after a baby is born!). Many of our boxes never made it out of storage to be unpacked.

Since then we’ve “cleaned up” the basement, it subsequently becomes a disaster area, then is “cleaned up” again, then…well, you know the cycle. As a result there a lot of boxes that have been lost. They are moved, more boxes are piled on top as we accumulate more stuff, and they are forgotten.

20150829_153421 (1)One of those boxes contained some books from our “keeper” shelf. It wasn’t simply a box, though, it was a huge Rubbermaid bin. I don’t know how a person can lose a Rubbermaid bin, but it happened.

This past weekend I had the horror–er, joy–of once again cleaning out my basement. I made a lot of progress and my trunk is currently full of things to donate to Goodwill. Primarily baby things, in fact, to bring life full circle.

But as I was cleaning out the scariest, darkest, farthest corner of my basement, I discovered the bin of “keeper” books. I think I gasped, shrieked, and then did a victory dance. Some of these books have been with me since high school and are the books that started me reading and writing historical romance.

FB_IMG_1440877002734And, double score, On The Night Of the Seventh Moon was a book I referenced in the 2015 Read A Romance Month that I thought I had lost!

Here’s an abbreviated list of the contents, not counting all of Mr. Alexander’s books:

The Great Gatsby
HP & Order of the Phoenix
HP & The Goblet of Fire
HP & The Prisoner of Azkiban
Odd Thomas (2 copies, lol! One paperback, one hardcover)
Forever Odd (ditto!)
Brother Odd (ditto again!)
2 Harry Bosch books by Michael Connelly
2 Alex Delaware books by Jonathan Kellerman
Paint The Wind (and if you notice it has a library sticker on it, I promise, I bought it at a library sale, I didn’t forget to return it!)
Gone With The Wind
Thoroughly Modern Millie
And all the Jane Aiken Hodge, Victoria Holt, Colleen McCullough and Mary Stewart books I recall ever owning. Every single one.



Secret for a Nightingale by Victoria Holt was the first “adult” book I ever read, and it is that specific copy in the picture to the right. I read it in middle school, and my passion with Gothic and historical romance grew from there. And, clearly, I’ve never forgotten them, because this bin of books will be staying on my keeper shelf!

So tell me, what’s on your keeper shelf?

Follow Alyssa Alexander:

Despite being a native Michigander, Alyssa Alexander is pretty certain she belongs somewhere sunny. And tropical. Where drinks are served with little paper umbrellas. But until she moves to those white sandy beaches, she survives the cold Michigan winters by penning romance novels that always include a bit of adventure. She lives with her own set of heroes, aka an ever-patient husband who doesn’t mind using a laundry basket for a closet, and a small boy who wears a knight in a shining armor costume for such tasks as scrubbing potatoes. Alyssa’s debut release, THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, was awarded 4.5 Stars and Top Pick, nominated for 2014 Best First Historical by the Romantic Times and Best First Book in the Romance Writers of America RITA contest. Her second book, IN BED WITH A SPY, released in December 2014 from Berkley, and received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly and 4.5 Stars and Top Pick from Romantic times. She has been called a “talented newcomer” and “a rising star you won’t want to miss.” You can find Alyssa at all the usual places! Please stop by and say hello! And you can always reach her by email at

14 Responses

  1. nmayer2015

    Shelf? Who has just a shelf of keepers? I have a room of them. The books are as different as Grace Livingstone Hill and Margaret Way, Barbara Metzger and Mary Jo Putney. The books take up three high book cases, as well as a linen closet that has never seen linen while I have lived here, and four or so crates of books. Those are just the fiction books, of course.
    However, your post reminded me that I need to go down to the storage area and check out the condition of stuff down there and see what needs to be kept and what needs to be tossed.

    • Alyssa Alexander

      LOL! Mine is much larger than a shelf too! I have two boxes on my office floor, one in my bedroom and stacks in my office because my bookshelves are too small. But isn’t an overflowing bookshelf such a wonderful problem to have?

  2. Donna Bayar Repsher

    I’ve loved and kept many of the same books, especially Paint the Wind, which I loved!

    But a keeper shelf? I have an entire bookcase wall in my living room just for keepers (packed double-deep at the moment), our newly added sun-room has 11 bookcases filled with my keepers, and two walls in my downstairs craft room are filled with even more keepers. This doesn’t include the 8,000 TBRs which are stacked in boxes everywhere in my home. Hello, my name is Donna and I am a book hoarder, and that will never, ever change!.

    • nmayer2015

      I think Donna is a winner in the How many books do you have contest. I don’t know that I could have matched her even when I lived in a 2 story 5 bedroom house with attic and basement. Filled a truck with the fiction I had to give away before moving to a condo. I had more room on one floor of my house than I do in the whole condo.

  3. Alyssa Alexander

    I’m thinking Donna is definitely the winner! Also, I want your sunroom, Donna! I don’t have a lot of space for books, which is why quite a few are just sitting in boxes on my office floor. I keep meaning to buy more bookcases, but now I’m jealous of your sunroom!

  4. Diane Eberly

    On my keeper shelf: Anya Seton’s – Dragonwyck, The Winthrop Woman, Green Darkness & Avalon. Charlotte’s Web from 1953. The Bronte’s – Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. Paul Gallico’s – The Snow Goose. Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations and a few more. Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies. Many others but I think that’s enough for me.

    • Alyssa Alexander

      A great keeper shelf! In fact, that reminds me that in (yet another) lost box, I have over-sized hardcover editions of Little Women, A Christmas Carol and The Water Babies with imitation gold leaf on the page edges. They were from my childhood. I might have to dig those up and share them with my 7 year old!

  5. jessicajefferson

    I come from a family of book hoarders and I’m happy to say that I’ve passed that particular trait on to my daughters. I always tell them the only thing I won’t restrict are the numbers of books.

    • Alyssa Alexander

      Oh, I love really old books, valuable or not! There’s something about knowing they have been loved and cherished for so long…and having Gone With The Wind? SO COOL.

  6. Barbara Monajem

    I have at least a roomful of keepers… all the Georgette Heyers and Mary Stewarts, tons of mysteries (Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, Josephine Tey…) and zillions of other mysteries and romances. Plus other random books. I hope I never have to weed any of them out.

    • Alyssa Alexander

      I have a stack of Agatha Christie somewhere too…The more we’re talking about this, the more I’m thinking I have a lot of books hiding in my basement!