Glens Falls (NY) Online Book Discussion Group discussion

ABOUT BOOKS AND READING > Do you remember much about the books you've read?

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Some readers are able to remember, for a long time, details from the books they've read. My cousin, an eye surgeon, could remember the plots of mystery stories she had read years before. What a brain! No wonder she was able to get through medical school! (lol)

I, on the other hand, cannot remember much about most of the books I've read, unless they've made a special impression on me. Often, the impression of certain good books does stay with me (e.g., _Bel Canto_), but not the details.

Do you remember much about the books you've read?

message 2: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Funny that you asked this question, Joy. I was out to lunch today with a friend & her mom & of course the conversation turned to books & reading. My friend told her mom how much I remember from books & movies-she has said this to me in the past. I never really thought about it but I guess I do remember details, especially if it was a book that I liked....I do try to slow myself down when I read because I think I have a little speed reading thing at times so I try to keep the lower part of a page covered up.....

message 3: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Dec 07, 2008 03:46AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Becky,
It's true that we never realize that our capacities are different. We tend to think that everyone has the same impressions of things that we do, when they don't. What is common or natural to us, may not be common or natural to others.

I'm a slow reader. I hate to miss anything in a book. I would never worry about reading too fast. (lol)

You're lucky that you have a good memory for what you read or view. Don't take it for granted. Not everyone has such a retentive memory.

message 4: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments It depends on the content of the book and how it affected. Ironically, when something disturbs me, I remember it longer.
I remember books and characters if I enjoyed them, but I often forget the details. Some of my most beloved books are ones that I will read again about 5 years later. Sure I know the beginning, the middle and the end, but I forget so many details.
And it's the details that make a good book a great books.

message 5: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Jan 14, 2009 12:36PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie, from what I read of your posts, I'd say you remember a good deal of what you read. I forget whole plots! (lol)

As for details, yes, they can increase the depth and worth of a book, if done right. But, as for the Sawtelle book, IMO, the author writes too many details. They make the book drag and don't contribute to the story. They take away from it. I enjoyed some of them but others turned me off. At first I appreciated the details, but after a while they simply stretched the story out unnecessarily.

message 6: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments Oh I abhor long drawn out and unnecessary details. It's what ruined Stephen King's once great writing, IMO. One of the best books I read by him, in collaboration with Peter Straub, was The Talisman.
Straub can get wordy and I don't like him, but this was done very well. About 20 years later (?) they wrote a sequel which I was so excited to read. but my excitement far exceeded the book, it was awful. The first 50 pages were about a dust-mote-being viewing the land. I cannot express how absolutely boring it was, ruined the entire book for me, which didn't really get any better anyway. By this time King has gotten too wordy himself, so between the two of them I wanted to scream!
I don't mind in-depth details IF it has bearing on the story. If the author gives me minute detail about something, it better be integral to the story.
That is one of the things that turns me off to certain writers. It makes me feel like they are being pompous, and trying to be a literary genius, and they fail miserably, IMO. I'm not looking for literary genius, I want to be entertained.

message 7: by Joy H., Group Founder (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments Jackie, sometimes I think the authors who write too many unnecessary details are just trying to fill the pages of their manuscript so that it's long enough to be considered a book.

message 8: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments I think so too. And they like the sound of their own thoughts, LOL

message 9: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Jackie-big SK fan here too-I liked the first book with Straub, did not like the second....But....I like the details that SK has given me over the years, I get a great visualization & I think that is why I never care for any SK books that become movies, aside from Shawshank Redemption....Have you read Duma Key? I think it is very close to "old" SK....

message 10: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) | 4050 comments No, I gave up on him years ago, Insomnia, Gerald's Game. I cannot go throught all that dragging on again. I have something of his on my shelves, not even sure what it is. Shows you how much interest I have in him.
He was my favorite author at one time.

message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckymurr) Duma Key was great....

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