What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Just to chat > Psychology of looking for forgotten books...

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message 1: by Kaion (last edited Mar 13, 2010 08:57PM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) | 389 comments Sometimes I got to wonder, why do we do it?

Often times I'll remember only a snatch of a book, and it'll drive me crazy trying to remember the rest of it. But often it wasn't even that good- (or at least clearly, not that memorable outside a couple concepts snatched here or there), and here I am obsessing about it over actually good books that I want to talk about with people.

Greener grass syndrome?


message 2: by rivka (last edited Mar 13, 2010 10:26PM) (new)

rivka | 302 comments The ones I look for are mostly for reasons of nostalgia -- books I remember from my teen years, mostly, and want to reread.


message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1382 comments The ones I look for are mostly from childhood and adolescence, although a few have been from my adult years. They're all books I really enjoyed, at least at the time. So far, this is the case. I guess I can see looking for a book I wasn't fond of but not remembering it would drive me crazy.


message 4: by Mike (new)

Mike (3lan) | 46 comments The "one" I am still searching for, has a piece of info in it I would like to have and recreate the mechanism described...it bothers me that it has become so elusive....


L (Sniffly Kitty) | 11 comments I like having complete lists, and the goodreads site has a great mechanism for creating that list but my memory fails me.


message 6: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta | 89 comments I once looked for a book for over 10 years that I had read in 9th grade. Seriously. Stopped at any bookstore I passed, questioned everyone, harassed librarians. I could only remember a few specifics: that the author's last name was in the first 1/3 of the alphabet, the story was about (humanized) moles, and the book was really thick. One day in a used bookstore I found it (Duncton Wood) and it was as good as I remember.

That was my most extreme book quest. All-in-all I have been just as satisfied with the books as I think I will be.

"Why do we do it?" - I love the quest. I also do this with movies and music from my past.


Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 103 comments Being a heavy reader for many years and getting up there in age, I've forgotten about 90% of the books I've read through the years. It's a miracle that I remember anything, really. I've reread so many and get that deja vu feeling when I do (lol). But occasionally when a scene pops into my head, I feel a real need to find out where it was from. Sort of like that song you can't remember the title to.


message 8: by Anita (new)

Anita | 41 comments I've had the same problem with trying to remember books. Then, sometimes I think I'm thinking about a movie I've seen only to realize it was a book I've read instead. Ahhh the power of the written word. It really amazes me how we can see characters and actions so vividly in our minds.
There's a book I've been mulling over in my head for years now and have yet to track it down.


message 9: by Andy (new)

Andy (theon3leftbehind) | 3 comments rivka wrote: "The ones I look for are mostly for reasons of nostalgia -- books I remember from my teen years, mostly, and want to reread."

That's how it is for me!! I ALWAYS experience nostalgia and it's quite horrid in my opinion. :/


message 10: by Ayla (new)

Ayla (arose95) When I go on a book search it isn't necessarily because I want to read the book again it just drives me absolutely crazy if I can't remember it. I rarely ever read it again but I always get a sense of satisfaction when I manage to unearth a long forgotten book of my childhood.


message 11: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (26kathryn) | 4 comments For me it's partly nostalgia, and partly that I want a complete list of everything I've read.

I guess it's kind of like why people track down their old friends on facebook.


message 12: by Daisy (new)

Daisy | 63 comments Kathryn wrote: "For me it's partly nostalgia, and partly that I want a complete list of everything I've read.

I guess it's kind of like why people track down their old friends on facebook."


That is very true. Mainly it's nostalgia, the same reason I spaz over children's books I loved as a kid even though I remeber nothing about them.


message 13: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 38268 comments Mod
Nostalgia. I recently found an old photo of me at about age 8, in my front yard with a book in my hand. I zoomed in and was able to read the title of the book and find a jpeg of the cover so I could add it to my read shelf. I love finding books like that, or illustrations online from books I'd long forgotten about. I did start keeping a list of every book I read at about age 9. I think it still exists but I have no idea where it is. Then when I was in my early 20s I started again (I think I let the practice lapse as a teenager).


message 14: by Emily (new)

Emily | 12 comments usually I read some books and don't finish them when I was younger. And now i'm just dying to finish reading them, but I guess I forgot what it was called. So I just go nuts trying to figure it out:D


message 15: by Chorine (new)

Chorine | 14 comments What fascinates me is the strange snippet of memory that floats around in my head, like this book I've been looking for that involves a kid waking up to find his family gone. Then something about a mirror. Or not. That's all I remember. How can that be? Where did the rest of the book go? Nice to know that I'm not the only person who experiences this.


Her Royal Orangeness (onlyorangery) rivka wrote: "The ones I look for are mostly for reasons of nostalgia -- books I remember from my teen years, mostly, and want to reread."

This.


message 17: by Leela4 (last edited Feb 28, 2011 04:18PM) (new)

Leela4 | 117 comments Or the flipside:

1) A book that was nothing special, but a couple of scenes stuck with you. Now you want to know what that book was because sometimes you'd like to mention it in conversation.

2) A book you hated, but you've just found out you may have been telling people the wrong title. Yikes!


message 18: by Via (new)

Via Love | 3 comments L (Sniffly Kitty) wrote: "I like having complete lists, and the goodreads site has a great mechanism for creating that list but my memory fails me."

So do I! And it kills me that their are so many books that I've read and forgotten. This is what happens when you read one after another....:/


message 19: by carriedaway (new)

carriedaway | 9 comments I used to reread books as a matter of course - I'd tear through them the first time because, well because I lack impulse control? I have to know everything NAO? both and more? So the re-read would be where I would pick up the nuances and, occasionally, huge chunks of the plot. I read pretty fast so I don't often skip to the end unless I'm about to give up on the book.

Nowadays I seldom read a book twice - are there really more books out there or is that just me? but there are a couple that I'd love to read again - if I only could remember the title/author.


message 20: by CJC (new)

CJC (cccalgary) | 4 comments carriedaway wrote: "I used to reread books as a matter of course - I'd tear through them the first time because, well because I lack impulse control? I have to know everything NAO? both and more? So the re-read would ..."

I agree - sometimes I will go through these phases where I will read like mad and tear through books. Then when I am bookless again I think I would like to read that book again in a less frenzied way - now what was it called...


message 21: by carriedaway (new)

carriedaway | 9 comments Isn't that the truth!!

Half the unsolved threads ring a bell with me - would that it would come with the title and the author....


message 22: by Emily (new)

Emily  O (readingwhilefemale) | 14 comments rivka wrote: "The ones I look for are mostly for reasons of nostalgia -- books I remember from my teen years, mostly, and want to reread."

I have similar reasons. I will remember a book from my childhood, but I'll forget the name because I'm terrible with names. I almost never forget the book, just the name. So someone will ask me for recommendations for kid's books, or I'll run into something that triggers the memory of that particular book, and I'll just need to remember what it is. I almost never re-read books, but I am going to be an English teacher, so I feel like it would be good for me to have recommendations for various age groups. Also, the nostalgia is fun, and favorite childhood books makes a great discussion topic.


message 23: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) When I track down a book I can't remember the title of, especially from my childhood, I feel like I've regained a piece of myself.


message 24: by Gerd (new)

Gerd | 223 comments Ellie wrote: "When I track down a book I can't remember the title of, especially from my childhood, I feel like I've regained a piece of myself."

This is so true, it's like what Cornelia Funke says in "Tintenherz" about finding a younger self preserved between the pages.


message 25: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) I like that image Gerd; I have to go look at that book (thanks)


message 26: by J. (new)

J. (mamalaoshi) | 56 comments Maybe it's like the book The Great Good Thing. The main character of her story escapes from her book before it is destroyed (it is out of print), then lives in several minds before getting someone to write a version of the story for her to live in again.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) The Great Good Thing does look like a neat book.

Sherri, I love this: " All those lose threads flapping just annoy me."

(I loved it so much I didn't realize you miss-typed 'loose' until just now. :)


message 28: by Oddity (new)

Oddity  (falinfreakster) The book I'm looking for was the last one my mum read to me. It has sentimental value.


message 29: by Britt\\\bratt (new)

Britt\\\bratt | 4 comments Chorine wrote: "What fascinates me is the strange snippet of memory that floats around in my head, like this book I've been looking for that involves a kid waking up to find his family gone. Then something about ..."

Isn't it weird the parts of a book that you'll remember? It's also cool when just suddenly you'll remember the title. What makes you think of it?


message 30: by Gene (new)

Gene (vilstef) | 17 comments Pamela(AllHoney) wrote: "Being a heavy reader for many years and getting up there in age, I've forgotten about 90% of the books I've read through the years. It's a miracle that I remember anything, really. I've reread so m..."

The first time I posted on what's the name of that book, I gave a rather detailed description of the book in question. I'd read it maybe twice over 40 years ago-couldn't remember the author or the title, but came up with lots of details! Memory is a very odd thing. :)


message 31: by Gene (new)

Gene (vilstef) | 17 comments Ellie wrote: "When I track down a book I can't remember the title of, especially from my childhood, I feel like I've regained a piece of myself."

Yes, that's the way I feel too.


message 32: by Sairah (new)

Sairah (sairahb) | 69 comments All of these are reasons for me as well, but some titles I'd like to find in order to reread them through a more mature lens.

Like I imagine most of you did, I read well above my age level. While that was great, some themes and plot points must necessarily have sailed over my head at the time and I'd like to go back and have a deeper, more intimate reading.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) That's so true - I've been rereading a lot of children's books lately and they're so different, sometimes, than what I remember. Thanks for sharing!


message 34: by Mike (new)

Mike (3lan) | 46 comments Much of the "information" I got from high school book (tricks, chemistry oddities, etc) are GONE from recent books....too dangerous, too hard to get the materials, names of materials have changed (to protect the stupid) etc. Frustrating for me.


message 35: by Feliks (last edited Mar 01, 2013 08:11PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) I can sum this up for you in a few paragraphs if you don't mind indulging me.

In a nutshell, its simply this: as humans, we all long to preserve what is by nature, insubstantial and expiring. Everything real and vital in human life has always been perishable.

Things that naturally disappear: well, the fact that they DO disappear --our knowing that they WILL disappear--is what makes them valuable to us. Its what makes all life precious.

Think about it. Everything you really value in your life, what is its material? Smiles; embraces; parties; kisses; lovers; songs; family members; summer nights at the carnival; fireworks; family dinners; relatives; movies; letters; pets; caresses, friends, classmates. This is all contained in your heart and your remembrance.

Perish-ability is why we have museums and scrapbooks and school yearbooks and wedding pictures and old chests of stuff up in the attic. The urge to remember is one of the most human things about us.

You could say that entire civilizations are predicated on the fact that everything in our lives dies, moves on, fades away. Including ourselves. Cavemen fought it, the combined might of Mesopotamia, Chaldea, and Egypt fought it; Chinese dynasties fought it; priests want us to embrace it; philosophers tried to outwit it; existentialists try to outflank it, scientists try to conquer it...all to no purpose.

So what does that leave? Friends, I give you--the book. The simplest--yet most ingenious--of all man's inventions. Paper books--yellowed by the sun, dog-eared pages, tattered covers--the fact they they wear and tear and teeter on the verge of being lost forever; is why we reach out to them; why we try to place our hands on them again.


message 36: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 51 comments I guess part of my reasons for trying to remember particular books is entirely pragmatic: I am trying to list as many books as I can remember on my Goodreads page. It helps me when I can't remember whether I have already read a certain book or not. I am also hoping that it will help me when I am doing reader's advisory in the library.


message 37: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (newbeginings) For me books are the things I choose to remember from times in my life that were rough.


Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd) (goldenfurproductions) | 400 comments For me, it's most because I will somehow be reminded of something that happened in a book and it will bug me and bug me until I found out what book it was from.
It just drives me crazy when i'm reminded of a book but don't know what book it is.

It's mainly just that I don't like forgetting things.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Books are good friends, I agree, Amanda.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Forgetfulness
BY BILLY COLLINS

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue
or even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall

well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.


Susan (the other Susan) (theothersusan) | 61 comments I just hate not knowing. And now that I'm on Goodreads, I have the means to find out, so...


message 42: by Hulttio (new)

Hulttio I think I'm the same. It's usually just knowing a few details that drive me crazy until I remember exactly where it is from.

And usually books are hardest for me to remember, for some reason...


message 43: by CAP (new)

CAP (Mre1999) | 5 comments "...the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,.."

Really?!? That would be wonderful - there are a couple of books I can think of that I would definitely love to read for the very first time again!


Justanotherbiblophile | 1756 comments "Really?!? That would be wonderful - there are a couple of books I can think of that I would definitely love to read for the very first time again! "

One of the few plus-sides to Alzheimer's/old age. In addition, you'll also already own the books AND their sequels. So, you'll be living large. ;)

This is one of the few instances that I'm jealous of the not-so-smart/non-elephant-memory crowd.


message 45: by Jaye (new)

Jaye  | 372 comments Justanotherbiblophile wrote: ""Really?!? That would be wonderful - there are a couple of books I can think of that I would definitely love to read for the very first time again! "

One of the few plus-sides to Alzheimer's/old a..."


"not-so-smart"? in regards to memory? I'm confused.


message 46: by Justanotherbiblophile (last edited Dec 18, 2016 09:58AM) (new)

Justanotherbiblophile | 1756 comments Typically those I've encountered who don't seem as smart, have poor memories. It seems to go hand-in-hand. I'm not sure if one is the cause of the other; correlation/causation blah, blah, blah.

As an aside, to show that memory isn't the only thing; creativeness is another aspect/dimension of 'smart', which doesn't necessarily need the memory function. Some creative people can't remember anything, some are creative (it seems) because they remember a lot of disparate things.

In any case, one of the very few times I'm jealous of the dumber people; they get to experience the best things over and over - and they have the very best possible person (who knows every fillip of their taste) curating their experiences: themselves!


message 47: by Kym (new)

Kym | 1058 comments I normally would not comment on a thread like this, however, you pissed me off Justanotherbiblophile. Watching my beautiful mother-in-law suffer from the debilitating illness - Alzheimer's is not a plus, and anybody going through this , my heart goes out to you. I used to love picking books for her to read on her kindle, (she loves thrillers) and now never asks for new books, I realise she must read the same books or pages over and over. I'll hang out with the dumb people, they are much more fun. (Except Lobstergirl) Super intelligent and tells it like it is, except, I'm pretty sure, is a nice person.

If I get kicked out of goodreads, so be it. Thank you again Jules for solving my book, however, I would of loved to have solved one of Bargles's threads. :)


Justanotherbiblophile | 1756 comments Kym wrote: "Alzheimer's is not a plus"

Reading is hard. Perhaps you should try learning the definition of 'few'. And perhaps read some sarcasm there.

Don't worry - if we're lucky - we'll all end up suffering from old age/cognitive loss/dementia/eyesight loss(cataracts/large print/no print)/hearing loss(audiobooks) etc.


message 49: by Bargle (new)

Bargle | 1220 comments If I get kicked out of goodreads, so be it. Thank you again Jules for solving my book, however, I would of loved to have solved one of Bargles's threads. :)."

Thank you , Kim.
I'd love for anybody to solve one of my threads. Especially the Cherryh or SF by a Detective author ones because they've been going on for so long.


message 50: by Kris (last edited Dec 22, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

Kris | 34460 comments Mod
Don't worry - if we're lucky - we'll all end up suffering from old age/cognitive loss/dementia/eyesight loss(cataracts/large print/no print)/hearing loss(audiobooks) etc."

Sorry but not a joke if you've seen someone suffering from any of those conditions (e.g., Learning to Speak Alzheimer's: A Groundbreaking Approach for Everyone Dealing with the Disease.)


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