Friday, January 20

The Memory's Shot

Way back when I was Rosario's age I remembered everything I read. Titles, characters, story lines, plots. I could discuss in detail just about anything I'd read since, well, childhood. This ability is gone, kuput, shot, completely done. I used to laugh when older women (women who were then the age I am now) in my "romance reading book club" would tell me to make lists to keep track of all the books I read, I thought they were crazy.

Well, with age comes wisdom. I need lists and details to remember anything now. What I read now is half of what I read 10 years ago. Back at the height of my reading, when I read probably around 400 books a year, I didn't keep track of anything, which is not a good thing, since now I don't remember anything.

Why am I telling you all this?

1. AAR is talking about he 2005 "buried treasures". Rosario blogged about her "buried treasure" which I have to agree was a very good book that no one seemed to be talking about. Well, it seems I couldn't remember the name of my "buried treasure." I had to go back and search my books read in 2005 list in order to find Outlaw's Embrace by Ashley Snow. The only problem is it's a golden oldie rather than a book published in 2005, that may explain why it wasn't a popular topic of romance reading conversation.

2. My TBR pile is full of books I've already read. Not because I want to reread them, but because I didn't remember reading them and when someone mentioned it was a favorite, I'd add it to my TBR pile, only to discover when I actually went to read the books that I had read them when they were new. Stories, plots, characters would seem vaguely familiar and I'd know the ending before I read it.

When did the memory go? I'm not entirely sure. I'm starting to think it was childbirth, though I had a c-section, but I'm sure that counts. When I was pregnant I lost all interest in reading and probably didn't start reading like I do now until after my son was a year old.

My mom reads for the pleasure of the moment, she remembers nothing and can reread a book once a month and enjoy it each time like it's new. I swear she has read Mary Jo Putney's entire backlist 5 times in the last year. She picks up the books at thrift stores and library sales and when she's done, she gives them to me.

Me: "Mom, you keep reading the same books over and over."
Mom: "I know, but I enjoy them each time."
Me: "Don't you remember reading them?"
Mom: "Sometimes they seem vaguely familiar."

OMG, I'm turning into my Mother.

A word of advice, if you're not keeping track of what your reading, if you think "hey I'll remember this," be very afraid, one day that great memory will be gone and you'll be left thinking "Gee, that seemed vaguely familiar."

Have a good one and happy reading.



Megan Frampton said...

Yup. That's me, too. I can usually remember the book titles, but nothing about the book itself. And my mom is just like yours--the fastest reader I ever saw (including me, and I'm wicked fast), but she doesn't remember anything once she's done with the book. Your story is more than vaguely familiar to me. Sigh.

Tara Marie said...

Megan, I knew there would be someone out there sympathetic to my "vaguely familiar" problem. I'm praying when I reach 65, I'm not doing the same thing dear old Mom is--hopefully the lists will help--LOL.

Rosario said...

But Tara, think of all the money you'll save if you just read a few books over and over again! LOL!

My mom's memory's still pretty good at 60, but my dad sounds just like your mom. I look exactly like mom did when she was my age, so I'm hoping I got her memory as well (and her skin... the woman doesn't have even one wrinkle). But just in case, I'm making lists! :-)

Bookwormom said...

ROTFL, Tara!

Lack of memory was one of the reasons I started this little adventure- to help me remember what I read!!

Anne E. said...

Tara, you read so many more books per month than do I that I can understand why you may not remember if you have read a particular book. I tend to read longer books (400+ pages), and so a book a week is sometimes a stretch for me, since most of my reading is done on the commuter bus -- as I say, one more reason to retire. 11 months and 11 days to go until R Day!


Jenster said...

LOL Tara! I started a notebook with the books I've read just this year. So I've got three books listed so far.

I like to blame my lack of memory on chemotherapy, but I was starting to have this problem beforehand, so maybe the childbirth excuse is better.


Tara Marie said...

Rosario, Honestly I didn't think I was remotely like my mom. She never had a good memory, so I'm hoping since my memory only crapped out around 40, I'm somehow ahead, maybe.

Amanda, It's one of the reason's I started my blog too, though for the couple of years I did keep a book journal.

Annette, When I'm on a good reading binge I'm reading about 300 pages a day. Back when I was really reading a lot, it was 500 pages a day. Lots of commuting time and less sleep.

Jenster, I've got to go with childbirth. My mom's memory has always stunk, she had me at 23. It's as good an excuse as any. Blame it on the kids--LOL.

sybil said...

Hell I will be 30 in two days and have never ever had a memory. I wanna be Rosario when I go up. Yes I know I am older than she is ;).

I keep telling myself I will go through and figure out what all I have. That or I will find a way to steal Ro's list ;).

Robin said...

Tara, your post cracked me up. I feel the same way. What is funny to me is I have written down authors and titles and even plot lines and I still do not remember reading the book! I definitely think that childbirth brings it on. In fact I remember reading that somewhere. Hmmm but I can't remember where.....:)
My mom is the same. I almost bought her a t-shirt for Christmas that said "I know I came in here for something"
I enjoy reading your blog. Take care!

McVane said...

OMG, you read Outlaw's Embrace by Ashley Snow?! That is one of my favourite books. Oh, wait. Did you get it off my list before the list was murdered by my stupidity, e.g. the Accidental Death of My Blog? Either way, I'd love to know what you thought of it. :)

Memories. Ha ha ha. Quote me a two-digit number, I'll forget within five seconds. It's so sad. Books -- I'm getting old but I still can recall most of them. That's probably because I have no kids (I refuse to count Will as one). I find that those who eventually "lose" their minds tend to be the ones with fast-growing kids. :)

CindyS said...

I've got no kids and no memory but I blame my Mom ;)

My mother could make 4 left turns and not know where she is. It was frustrating as a teenager.

'Uh, I think we are lost.'
'Mom, we are back where we started, see that store? That's where we were.'
'Oh, right.'

Now, ask my mom about a movie or show and she won't have a clue what is going on.

'Cindy, why did ___ do ____'
'Mom, they just explained that'
'They did?'

I once told Bob I was afraid I would one day become my Mom. I still have a great sense of direction but my memory for books (names, titles) going down steadily. Apparently becoming one's own mother is in the cards.


Sam said...

That is so funny about your mother, lol. Mine is the same. And my husband is the same about movies - he can watch the same movie over and over because he honestly forgets the endings!
I love to re-read books for good writing or to revisit favorite characters.

Tara Marie said...

Sybil, I swear, I used to be Rosario, but the memory's gone, maybe I need ginko, does that help memory??

Robin, OMG, I need that t-shirt for my mother. And at the rate I'm going it will be perfect for me too.

Maili, I did get Outlaw Embrace from your list, along with 3/4 of the rest of my TBR pile which I'm slowly discovering I've already read, they all seem vaguely familiar. Husbands always count as children, I have 2, ones 47 and the other's 4.

Cindy, Your mother sounds like a woman I used to work with, couldn't find her way out of a paper bag, her stories of getting lost were hysterical. My mom's best friend refuses to make left turns, she has a phobia about crossing traffic, it takes her quite a while to get to work.

Sam, My husband has an amazing memory still, its really annoying. Though he watches the same movies over and over just becuase he likes them. Can anyone say JFK??

J.H. Furmage said...

I've been lucky enough to only buy 10 books out of about 2,000 that I've read. I've always had to make a list of the books I've read because I buy in bulk. I'm talking about 30 to 40 books at one time. Once I got 60. Gotta love ebay. It only cost me $15.00!

I still remember when my grandmother left my husband at the dealership. He was there for 30 minutes looking around for her before he decided to call me to see if she was there. I still laugh my butt off whenever he brings that up. I just can't help myself.