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How quicly do you forget a book you've read?


Active Member
For me, it's usually within about six months to a year. I can remember vague bits about the plot but not much else.

Looking at the books I've got there are quite a few I could probably re-read.


Some of them I never forget, I liked them so much that I remember almost everything (but it's also because I've re-read the ones I like the most so I'm less likely to forget... )

For most of them however, I remember the story fairly well, but I forget about some details, the names of the characters, etc. I couldn't say how long it takes me to forget, it depend how many books I've read since (details generally becomes a blur after I've read 5 or 6 other books)

What I forget most easily (I don't know why) are mysteries, I often forget the ending after a couple of months, I don't remember who's guilty, but if I re-read them it's very frustrating because it comes back to me in the course of the reading...

Usually however I have no trouble remembering books but I very quickly forget movies (sometimes I even forget having ever seen them until half an hour before the end)...


New Member
great stories

I suppose it depends on what your reasons for reading are. If you want some excitement or relaxation, maybe an escape from the everyday, you might pick up plot-heavy action or mystery books. The stories are engrossing while you read, but they fade from memory.

I usually notice and remember themes rather than plots. I like books full of ideas. Ones that make you think about things. Most books I've read I remember well.

Read 'Lonesome Dove' if you want a rousing adventure that you will never forget.


Its getting quicker all the time. Can't say I've ever completely forgotten one, but, like Marie said, some of the details get fuzzed over after you read several other books. Because of this I rarely reread a book unless I just simply loved it.


Since I don't keep a good book list, I tend to forget the names of the books I read. I recently picked up one from the library that sounded interesting, started reading it and realized by Chapter 3 that it was a bit familiar. Sure enough, I'd read it a couple of years ago.


It's more like 'how long can I remember a book for'. I could probably give a reasonable rundown on plot and character for most of the books I have. I would have to guess at a couple of years. I tend to visualise the book as I read, even to the extent of assigning film stars as characters.


New Member
I don't forget much if i like it. But the ones I like I usually have quotes pulled out or notes through the book so I think that tends to stick it in my memory more.

Richard Rahl

New Member
well, for me its like the information is locked up in a safe, and all you have to do is mention the title, author, or main plot line and ill remember everything that happened, this helps in reading multiple books, because no matter how many books im reading i can pick up one of them, read the first line or two, and immediately know what happened so far. the only difference is that in series its hard for me to tag a certain part to a certain book because i remember the series as a whole, not as a parts of a whole.


New Member
Depends completely on the book. Usually I remember a character the most, especially if it's one I really identified with.


It really depends on how much I enjoyed the book. I don't forget many things for books I love, though I may get the events a bit out of order. However, for a book I don't overly enjoy, I tend to forget all but major events within six months to a year.


New Member
If I really loved a book then I normally remember it. Some books have been so bad that I wish I could forget them! Just depends on the book and how much actual time has passed by.


Active Member
I have the worst memory ever - even when I'm rereading my favourite books, I go "oh yeah, that's right!" every couple of pages.



New Member
I know how bad my memory is - it's about two years bad. I mean by that that I tend to remember books in detail for about two years or so. I know this because everytime RJ brings out a new WoT book, I re-read the series because I've forgotten various details! I know the general gist, but the cast of characters is so huge that it's hard to keep details straight!

I tend to remember characters better than the plots of books.


New Member
If I really enjoy a book then I can pretty much remember the entire plot – even several years later. I could quite easily write a detailed review on a book I read 4-5 years ago if I liked it enough. Even if I didn’t enjoy a book I can remember nearly everything that happens (though sometimes if I really don’t enjoy the story I skim read it to find out what happens but don’t bother with every detail and I don’t bother re-reading it)


New Member
I don't remember every little detail, but I do remember the plot usually. Of the 250+ novels I've read in these last 7 years, only 2 I remember nothing about. (And when I say nothing, I do mean nothing.)


New Member
If I really enjoy book that I'll remember story and characters as well. If I dislike the book that I rather forget!!


New Member
I remember books pretty well if they were single pieces, but with a series (a.k.a. Harry Potter) it's harder for me to remember details from each book. To me, it's just one big book, so when people ask me if they remember what happened after such and such, I can't really tell them exactly. Kind of a pain.


Active Member
Unless it was really dreadful I can remember the overall plot and outcome of the book. But if a lot of time has passed, or even not that much but a lot of other books have been read, I can find it tricky to remember all the little details of the previous book when I come to read the sequel. Especially with a complicated book. I'll just be sitting there scratching my head and wondering who the hell people are. For this reason, as soon as the next GRR Martin book is out in hardback I'll read through the others, and I should be finished in plenty of time for the paperback release and know exactly what's going on with the characters.

With the last Crown of Stars books (Kate Elliot) people were popping out of the woodwork all over the place, and leaving my poor addled brain awfully confused and tired. Maybe I need to a little crib sheet for all the complicated series so I don't have to keep reading back through the old ones every time a new one came out. It makes me glad I don't like Robert Jordan.


New Member
I normally have an excellent memory, but when it comes to books I tend to forget them very quickly. I'm starting to get into the habit of taking notes while I'm reading or directly after I finish a book, or writing a review, and I've found this helps me to remember things I would otherwise forget.