If you forgot what happened in a book after you’ve read it, does it count in having read it? I mean, if you can’t recall what the book is about, how are you any better than someone who has not read it?
It’s a frustrating curse that many voracious readers struggle with. Myself included! Though I have yet to completely forget a book, it is not uncommon. I believe that even if you forget about having read a said book, that it still counts as having been read. Books sometimes leave emotional marks on our memory and can still contribute to our overall experience and personality. Often times, the book isn’t completely lost from your memory either, as anyone who has ever picked up a book and realized that they are already familiar with it. I find I can often remember how a book made me feel, even if I can’t remember the plot.
Most of us skim books when we read and in order to retain more here are a few tips to start practicing with your next novel:
Slow down – this one is obvious. Practice active reading. In order to remember more, slow down your pace. The book isn’t a race to the finish. Think about the words you’re reading. I know, we all have reading goals but sometimes quality and retention is more important.
Write down and take notes – this isn’t meant to be a chore and take the fun out of reading so write down plots and characters that intrigue you. Or perhaps a question you have about a characters decision or plot line.
Research – look up words you don’t know in the dictionary or a piece of history or geography you don’t know anything about.
Tall about it – don’t like the book or a character? Rant to your friends. Better yet, if the book is good, recommend it and discuss pinnacle points. Don’t have bookish friends? Try the Good reads community or Reddit.
Track your reading – this has been my own biggest remembrance tool. You can use a spreadsheet or a site like Goodreads. Even better, write reviews or quick personal notes within a short time frame of finishing the book so you don’t lose those impressions. Lazy? Take a picture with your phone and write a caption.
Have you ever forgotten a book? Any tips I missed? Let me know your experiences.