Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Old Timer's Disease

The only thing more annoying than starting a book and realizing you've already read it, but also realizing that you know this only peripherally--some of the names seem familiar, but you have no clue as to what happens next. Sometimes you don't like the book almost as much as you did the first time, when you bought the first copy; but it takes you fifteen chapters to realize you are plowing through old ground...

what really scares me is the total lack of any sort of memory of either the first reading or what I liked/disliked about it. Gone. Just gone.


  1. Happens to me all the time, Mits. It's not the age, it's the milage -- people who read one book a year or one book a month don't have this problem.

    It's not the years that dulls your memory -- it's the thousand volumes.

  2. well yeah, I do get that. But these two books were read only a few months ago, since a friend gave me one as a batch set of Science Fiction, and the other I picked up at a book sale. So this is also distance as time.

    In a way it's fun, you read a favorite book and enjoy it as if you had never read it before. Sort of John Pelligrino's goldfish effect...

  3. Judy, I usually remember about page 67 that I've read something before - but that's been true since I was 16!

    The filing system's a mess, but there's a lot of data there ..

  4. Oh ive done that. But what is unsettling, I can recall very clearly every book I ever read and loved, except for the latest ones. Im rereading Terry Pratchett, in order, and am surprised all over again at how little I remember--at least Where Things Occurred.

    My own filling system I think is slowly being eaten by woodworms and earwigs. sometimes at night I can hear them chewing. brrr.