Thursday, April 20

Oh, I've Read This Book! ...Or Have I?


Have you ever read a book and then thinking back, discovered you've forgotten parts of it? Have you ever read a whole book and then promptly forgotten all about it? Because then, congrats! You've got book amnesia.

I consider myself a classic case of recurring book amnesia- many are the times when I've forgotten things about books I've read. It maybe something trivial like the name of a side character to something major, like a huge chunk of the whole story. Or on rare occasions, it may even be... wait for it... a whole freaking book


I kid you not. I recently decided to pick up Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher again- I had, on a previous occasion, started it, but never got around to actually completing it, so I thought why not read it now? And so I did. I was past the 10% mark, 25%...50%....and I kept remembering reading it all before. 

Growing increasingly fidgety, I kept on reading it until I was completely done with the book and I discovered I had actually read the whole thing before! 

The whole. freaking. book. 

Can you imagine? I remembered everything, everything, right up to the final sentence. It wasn't just a nagging sense of déjà vu, nope, I actually remembered the whole story on reading it again. The whole book! I've read a whole book and then gone on to forget all about it? I'm positively appalled, but would you believe it if I say this is not even the first time I did this? I've done this same thing where I read another book all over again to discover I'd read it before- but I don't even remember the title of the book now. I'm awful.

It's not just forgetting things about books I've read, though- I have experienced a similar, yet not-so-similar other phenomenon, which I'd like to call reverse book amnesia. Hey- people are claiming reverse everything these days, so why not book amnesia, yeah? (And you might want to pay me royalty or something for using this term I've coined. Just saying.)



Anyway, coming back to reverse book amnesia- that's when you distinctly remember reading a book when you actually haven't. Has this ever happened to you? Don't tell me I'm the only one!!! *deep breaths* I'm kind of very embarrassed about this, but I actually really truly remembered reading Anna and the French Kiss until I decided to read it "again" and discovered I haven't. Yep. I actually remembered reading a whole book when I'd never read it at all

The reasons for reverse book amnesia may be pretty simple. I had the eBook sitting on my shelf for so long that I might have thought I read it at one point or the other and it just stuck on my mind that I actually read it- also, Anna and the French Kiss is extremely popular (for reasons I cannot quite fathom) and I had only come across it in some form or the other, be it on Instagram, Goodreads or elsewhere, so I was actually quite familiar with what the story would be. But reasons for book amnesia? That's a whole 'nother thing altogether.

It could be that the story simply didn't strike a chord with me and so I forgot bits of it. Or my very dismal prowess in rereading books could account for this phenomenon as well. But something so unique as Thirteen Reasons Why? Well, here's the thing: maybe I didn't think it was quite so unique when I first read it after all, and now due to all this newly rekindled hype, I feel it's something that I first thought it was not! Bewildering, isn't it? I suppose this just goes on to show how much we (okay, I) let hype affect our (argh, my) opinion on books...which admittedly makes me question my own damn credibility. Oh well. At least now that I know of my mind's mischievous ways of operating, I can be more careful, right? Right? Right.



So, what about you? Have you ever experienced these strange phenomena? Don't tell me it's only me! 
I'd positively hate that.

14 comments:

  1. OMG I FEEL THE SAME WAY WITH THIRTEEN REASONS! I was just watching the show and it was literally shocking me but then I was thinking: wait, you've read this before, you already knew this was going to happen. But seriously it felt like I had never seen it before! What is with this book and forgetfulness???

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    1. That really is strange that we both seem to have this problem with 13 Reasons Why! I'm watching the show as well, and despite having read the book again only every recently, I hardly remember anything at all. GAH. :D

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  2. I hasn't happened to me before, the whole forgetting about reading an entire book. It's impossible to remember everything that happens in a book but I do know if I had read it lol

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    1. Well, I certainly envy your ability to keep track of everything so well xD

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  3. Book amnesia is my life! I forget books really quickly.. which is why I'm always behind in series. I have to reread all the time lol. Now... REVERSE book amnesia has only happened a couple of times, but every time it has been because of hype and spoilers haha

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    1. YESSSSSSSSS- I'm so glad you feel the same way! Series are truly a nightmare, especially when you're picking up the sequel after ages, lol. And yes- hype and spoilers certainly contribute towards reverse book amnesia!!!

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  4. I always forget about reading books! Especially when it comes time to write reviews for books I have on my 'needs review' shelf and I wonder if I ever actually read it at all because I remember absolutely nothing about it, even after jogging my memory with the blurb! It's terribly annoying because then I have to reread the whole thing, even with that sense of deja vu that you mentioned, to get my facts straight on what exactly happened. Lovely topic, Ruz!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. Ooh, you too!!! Yes, writing reviews is especially tiring when you have to check back to see you actually remember it right! And the blurb is useless when it comes to such instances because god knows how many blurbs actually convey something important about the book :P
      Thanks, Laura! <33

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  5. I don't think it's just you! These are book blogger problems ha ha- we read so many books it's hard to remember everything, I have it ALL the time where a book I just read a few months ago I will forget major parts of it. Which kinda worries me ha ha! And I think I did start re- reading a book once only to realize- I already read this! It was a long time ago but yeah.

    So totally with you on this one!

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    1. I'm so glad I'm not the only one!!! It's worrying and at times I'm just so frustrated with myself, but my brain just so happily chucks away all thing important when it comes to certain books :D

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  6. This has totally happened to me. Not the reverse one, but the "regular" one. I've not remembered if I've read a book so I'll go to look at the synopsis and be like WAIT I'VE TOTALLY READ THIS but I remember nothing about it? hahaha

    Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

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    1. Well, I'm glad you've at least experienced the regular one! :D It really is strange how we manage to forget reading an actual whole book- the brain certainly has mysterious ways of operating at times!

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  7. This was hilarious. I recently went and downloaded an audiobook, while I was on the train, and I listened to it for over 20 minutes until I realized, I had read the book. This is why I should consult GoodReads or my spreadsheet prior selecting my next book/audiobook.
    Sam @ WLABB

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    1. Thank you, Sam! I'm glad you've experienced this too :D

      And wow, that's super organized of you- I can't fathom updating a spreadsheet, and I'm horrible enough with Goodreads already -.-

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