For that reason, right now I have a whole bunch of books on the French language. Yes, I took four years of French in high school and a semester in college, but I really don't speak the language, I haven't visited France, and during my few trips to Quebec, my high school French proved to be horribly inadequate and I had to revert to English (much to the relief of the people I was speaking to). A need to know French is probably not in my immediate future. And yet...I have those books. (Note: knowing a smattering of French does come in handy when doing crossword puzzles. Thank goodness I devoted four and a half years of my life to delving into the language. Smile). (Also Note: I have no regrets about those four and a half years. It's a beautiful language, I was--weirdly enough, given my present inability to speak it or understand it other than in written form)--good at it, I learned a few things about French history and culture, and I enjoyed it.
And then--getting back to my eclectic bookshelves--there are the books on gardening (I have more than what's pictured below) even though I'm a horrid gardener and always have been (clearly the books aren't paying off).
Of course, there are other books I have just because I like having them there (lots of history books) and I always hope that maybe someday I'll use them for writing a historical, even though it's been years since I stopped fiddling with writing historical romance and moved to contemporary romance. Speaking of which, why did I give away my copy of Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey? I loved that book!
In short, I hope that you too have books on your shelf that you love even if you never put them to use in your day-to-day life!
Best Wishes and Happy Reading,