Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Discussion Post: I Have Bookish Amnesia

Recently I was having a conversation with Michelle, as we often do, about books. I can't remember the book that we were talking about but it was one that I had already read and she was reading it. She mentioned a part that she was surprised about, something that maybe she didn't like and I didn't remember that happening at all. It was a pretty big part of the book and I had no idea it had happened. And then I started rereading the Jackaby series in order to prepare for The Dire King coming out and when I got to Ghostly Echoes, there was an entire part of the big, again a big part. that I didn't remember at all.

And that's when it hit me. I have book amnesia. Something typically happens to me when I finish a book where I almost always forget what happened. And I'm not just talking about small details like what the character had for breakfast or how they got to school every day. I mean major plot points like why a character double crossed the other and who died in the big battle scene. Sometimes I will even forget entire plot points. Like I will look back at my Goodreads list of books when I am doing Top Ten Tuesdays and sometimes I will have no idea who the characters in a book were or what happened in the book.

And I don't mean I forget what happened in books I read a year ago. I mean I forget what happened in books I read recently. Like I finished The Epic Crush of Genie Lo less than a week ago and I've already forgotten the name of the male lead and how they defeated the big bad. And sometimes this happens the next day. Like if I don't write my reviews for these books as soon as I finish them I will forget how I felt about the book because I will forget what happened in the book.

But the most common thing for me to forget is romances. As many of you know, I am romancephobic. I don't really read a lot of straight romances and when I read books that have romance in them, I almost always forget the romance. Like not just that the characters had a spur of the moment make out session as the world was about to end, although I do often forget that. I mean I will forget that there even was a romance in the book. Like if the main character had a whole relationship with a ghost and couldn't decide between him and an actual human boy I will forget that completely (well until someone reminds me).

Why Does This Happen?

Well, it could be because of any number of reasons. It could be because I am reading multiple books at once. I am never only reading one book so it is hard for me to focus on any given book. And because I am usually do themed months I tend to read multiple books with the same themes and general plots. Because of this the books tend to blend together in my mind.I forget points of the book because I am getting them confused and my subconscious isn't able to grab hold of the details.

The other reason that I think this tends to happen is that I read too quickly sometimes. The problem with blogging sometimes is that we are trying to churn our reviews out in a consistent way. On the internet content is king and on book blogs, that means reviews. I usually try to have at least two reviews a week, ideally three. That means I need to finish one book every weekend and one every work week. This is sometimes challenging. If I am having a busy week and I don't have as much time to read then I will try to finish the book faster than I should. Sometimes that means skimming and sometimes that means just not reading as critically.

Is This a Good Thing?

No, probably not. Being this forgetful is probably not a good thing. I mean I don't think it bodes well for me as I get older. At this age I shouldn't be this forgetful. Although frankly, I have always been a little absent-minded. But general life stuff aside, it's probably not very good for me as a reader. I want to remember what happened in the books I read. I want to be able to talk about them with people who read them after me or later down the line. When sequels come out I don't want to be forced to do a reread because I know I will have forgotten all the details. I want to remember what happened.

But, sometimes I do think that being forgetful is a good thing. For one, I am not usually the kind of person to have a grudge on a book. It's very rare for me to look back on a book and not like it. Because the books I didn't enjoy are sometimes the first to go from my memory. Of course those that I actively despise are another story. But it also helps with book hangovers. Because I am so forgetful about what happens, it's easier for me to move on to the next book. My thoughts don't linger on the previous one. And honestly, years of attempting to avoid book hangers by starting a book right away (more on that here) might be one of the reasons I do get bookish amnesia.

How Can I Solve This Problem?

If I really don't like this then I need to do something about it. I can do one of two things. First I can make sure I take my time reading the book. In order to do this I need to not put so much pressure on myself to pump out reviews twice a week, every week. Sometimes I will just not meet that goal and that is fine. If I stop worrying about finishing that book and start worrying about soaking up every word that will probably help. The other thing I can do is write stuff down. I used to have a notebook where I wrote spoiler thoughts about the books I was reading but I stopped doing that. Maybe I should start that again. This way I would need to remember stuff and if I forgot I would have a way to remind myself.

There you have it, my bookish amnesia. Do you forget what happened in a book shortly after you read it? Why do you think that happens to do? If you don't forget anything, how do you remember? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. It depends on the books, of course but I do tend to forget certain things that happen in books even if I have read it not so long ago. Maybe I just read too many books? Haha no there's no such thing... lol

  2. I don't forget the book, but for some reason, I struggle with remember the characters' names. I was writing a review and I was struggling with the MC's name, so I look it up on GR, and she had the same name as me. Seriously bad with names.

  3. I’m pretty good at remembering the plot, but I’m terrible with character names. I forget all of them as soon as I close the book. It’s bad enough that I have to binge-read series. If I wait too long between books, I forget who is who and who is doing what.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. I have this so bad! I can never remember character names or endings to books. I started my blog partly so I could remember more about why I enjoyed the books I liked. I thought writing reviews would help with that, and it does. To some extent. But I can never mention the ending in a review, so I am still hopeless with those. Although, it does allow for more fun re-reads. I am re-reading Carry On right now, and I am not remembering much of the details of this book, so it's kind of like reading it for the first time again. :)