Remembering What You Read

remembering what you read

I was hanging out with a friend of mine earlier this summer and she’s quite the YA reader as well. I always ask her what book she read recently, and I even occasionally borrow books from her. Her most recent read was Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton. Now if you remember my review from back in May of 2015, you know that this book is about the darker side of a competitive dance environment, Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars, and that I did not enjoy this book much at all. My friend picked it up because she is a dancer like me and thought the premise sounded interesting. When I asked her what she thought after finishing it, she said something like, “I really liked June! I think their struggles were really realistic and that ending was crazy.”

That awkward moment when you don’t know what your friend is talking about, when you had read the book a mere months before.

I honest-to-goodness could not remember the ending of the book. I vaguely remember the character June, but it was pretty fuzzy. So all I said back to my friend was, “I didn’t really enjoy Tiny Pretty Things much so I don’t really remember the ending.”

But is that really so? If you didn’t like a book, do you bother keeping the details in your head?

I know that if a reader loves a book, they’ll probably re-read it and know all of the details (like ALL of them, i.e. Harry Potter). But if a book was just kind of meh or really awful, do you bother remembering the details, or do you kind of just let the details slip and fade away from your memory?

Because that’s what seems to be the case for me. If it’s not a book I love or will recommend, I don’t let it make a place in my brain. But what about when someone wants to have a discussion about it with you? Things just get really awkward then. “Yeah I read it and wrote a review of it a few months ago, so go read my thoughts on it on my blog, will ya?” No, that’s just plain awkward!

Is it just me? Sometimes I even have a difficult time remembering books I really enjoyed. I guess that’s the problem with reading so many books every month, is that the ones that don’t really matter just start blurring together.

How do booksellers do it? They have to be able to give in-depth synopses of a lot of books in order to sell them. HOW? I am jealous of your memory powers.

So let me know what you do: are you good at remembering what you read, even if it’s a book that didn’t blow you away? Or are you like me, and let the alright books fade away from memory?

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10 thoughts on “Remembering What You Read”

  1. As a bookseller and blogger, I’m with you – I can barely remember details about books. But you’re only recommending books you LIKE, so it’s a bit easier to remember! I usually give one sentences pitches, which I can usually remember. Or sometimes I cheat and glance at the back. We’re not superheroes 🙂

    Love this post, Jenny! XO

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  2. I’m good at remembering the feelings I associate with novels and if those are strong emotions, like I either LOVED it or HATED it, I usually remember a lot. But other books, novels that I just liked but didn’t LOVE, those are definitely tough for me to remember details for opposed to big-picture synopses. I think it definitely comes from having read so much, ALL the time. :/

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  3. I’m utterly terrible about remembering what happens in books – even ones I end up loving! I’m constantly at a loss for words when writing reviews. Someone could ask me a few weeks later if there was a love triangle or something and I just won’t remember. It’s bad. I need to start taking notes a little more often! D:

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  4. I am so, so, so bad at remembering details and events in books! I re-read The Scorpio Races and had totally forgot how it even ended so the ending was a surprise to me the second time HAHA. Unless it’s something I’ve re-read a bunch of times, I have a hard time remembering specifics and I feel so awful about it! I think it’s just because I’m constantly reading something new, at the same time, and then there’s life too. I’ve thought about taking notes but it really takes away from the reading experience for me!

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    1. that’s really funny that the scorpio races ending took you by surprise the second time! i’m glad i’m not alone in this, but yeah, taking notes is a no for me while reading.

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  5. Oh my gosh I do this too, but it’s only understandable when we sometimes read and do so much in between reading and talking about it. I’ve sometimes gone to write a review straight after reading a book and – poof, names, plot, everything, gone! Luckily I take notes, but still, you’re not alone! 🙂

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