Forgetting the books you loved

With so much noise on the internet, I wish Twitter would track the links I click on and read. Interestingly, the link I’m trying to find is about not retaining what you read. It was a great explanation of why we don’t remember things long term, but the more I write about it, the more the article comes into focus and I may have a chance of tracking it down in case you want to read it.  Pamela Paul, the editor of the NYTBR is quoted in it. There was also a bit about Plato not wanting to ruin his memory by writing his ideas down because he felt writing things would be the death of memory. The article (aha, I found it!) asserts that the more we read, the less we retain and it’s all down to the internet because we really have no reason to keep things in our memory because we have new ways to retrieve them.

I remembered Pamela Paul was quoted because I specifically recall the things she remembers when she reads. The physical book itself, where she bought it or who gave it to her, the setting she read it in. The trouble was, that was about all she remembered. We are fortunate to have the internet and the place I go to remember what I read and to get a brief synopsis of it is Goodreads. There were times in the past where I would read a book and then at a later date, purchase the book again or check it out from the library only to remember halfway through I had already read it. It rarely happens anymore.

I am a huge list maker, so making lists of what I read goes way, way back. During my high school, college and early adult years, I wrote them in a notebook/journal. Unfortunately, I was in therapy in my mid-twenties and I let my therapist look at my journals for insight but I never got them back because I stopped seeing her due to the fact I couldn’t afford it anymore and I was too embarrassed to ask for them back.  Crazy, I know!

Once Excel was invented, I kept all my notes about what I was reading there. That way I could sort it by author, date (year) read or the rating I gave the book (I used 1-4 with 4 being the best and I also used half numbers too so if a book was really good but if it wasn’t fantastic, I’d rate it a 3.5). I kept multiple worksheets so I could track favorite authors and keep lists of what I wanted to read separately from the list.  I even had a column where I’d write a brief summary and review of the book. I guess this was my early day Goodreads!  I still have a copy of this somewhere.

I was also an early adopter of PDA’s (personal digital assistants) and would keep the book lists on it so I could refer to it at the library or bookstore. It is also where I started reading e-books back in the early 2000’s. The idea of always having a book with me wherever I went was highly appealing and it didn’t have to be a big physical book. My early days as an iphone user was chiefly to read books and from there I tried the Nook for a while but it didn’t do it for me. When the iPad came out, I thought it would be ideal because I could read at night with it, but after seeing someone reading a Kindle while on a beach vacation, I was sold and the Paperwhite is now what I bring everywhere I go. It is a perfect size, syncs with books from the library and keeps a charge for weeks. It is also a very simple product that has one purpose.

By early last year, I’d say about 90% of my reading was via ebooks. In May 2017, my family went on an electronics fast that lasted several months due to some issues we were having with Liam and his electronics use. I gave up my Kindle from May through August and this got both of us back to the library which was great. I have always loved the library and often would find new authors by browsing the shelves. It was a great way to stumble on someone new. Now, I always have a hardcover or paperback book going along with something on the Kindle.

So all in all, my consumption of books has increased quite a bit with all the ways I can read them. That means I’m loving the books as I read them but forgetting a couple months out what the plot was. Fortunately, I can go online and refresh myself about books I loved. The number of authors I read and love has also grown considerably so my TBR pile is much larger than it used to be. I’m the kind of person who likes to know there will always be something good to read following the book I’m currently reading (whether I’m going to remember it or not).


Daily prompt: Noise


How do you solve a problem like football?


Football season is over! Of course, there will be the post-game rehash of what happened, the half-time show and the commercials but the long season of men in tight pants, tossing around a ball is over. Can you tell I’m not a fan? To each his own, I guess, but apparently, I’m in the minority because over 114 million tuned in to the big game yesterday.

I did give football a go many times through the years for the people in my life: family, friends, boyfriends and my husband. I could never understand the game and why each 15 minute quarter seemed to last an hour. Whenever I asked questions during a game I was sushed because you are not permitted to talk during the game due to rules of social propriety unless you are yelling at the players and coaches on TV.

Continue reading “How do you solve a problem like football?”


Hopes and Goals



Over and over we are told to write down our goals. Make them specific. Make them actionable. Make them accountable. Usually, I’m tempted to go overboard and decide to overhaul everything in my life from diet to exercise to a promise to write every day. I also throw in things like being more patient, showing more compassion to others and being more organized. While these are all good intentions, I think this year I need to be a little more realistic. While I do want to cut out sugar, I know it’s going to be baby steps. While I want to get to the gym more, I’m not going to make a rigid commitment to go every day. Same with writing.

One thing I’m going to commit to is to give other people positive feedback as much as possible. I follow a lot of authors on Twitter and have come to realize that they like to hear when you enjoy their work (makes sense!). I am an avid user of Goodreads to track my reading but have done very little by way of reviewing the books as I read them. I vow to change that this year and already have a couple of reviews under my belt. I realize this is only January 3rd so I’m going to ask a question that has always rattled around in my reading brain – do audiobooks count toward your total book count for the year?

Continue reading “Hopes and Goals”


Read to write

my readingThis tweet from Lauren Groff (who I’ve never read but may have to change that next year) resonated with me and where I am at this stage. I haven’t been writing and that’s ok. I used to feel guilty or embarrassed or something that I professed to want to be a writer and yet not write and then I made myself write every day whether it be in my journal, on a random scrap of paper or in the drafts section of WordPress, never to see the light of day. I have over 20 drafts in my WordPress folder if anyone is counting.

Back in October, I was so excited to have Fridays free to write when I went to a four day work week. Guess what? That time began to fill with other things mainly related to parenting and home life. I finished up my Thursday night writing class a couple weeks ago having missed half of the eight sessions because even when I try, I find it impossible to put myself first for fear I’ll disappoint someone else.

Continue reading “Read to write”


Offline living

Oh my, it’s been ages! We are officially at summer’s halfway point (at least in my mind) and I should update you on what’s going on here. I don’t know if you remember, but back in May, I decided the family needed a technology break (including me).  I have posted just a handful of blogs since that time because you know, I’m on a break which means everything is happening offline, including writing.

The break from technology has been, overall, a mostly fabulous experience. You know how sometimes you don’t know how stressed out you are until you are sitting on a beach with sand filtering through your toes and then you dig in a little deeper to get to the cool, wet sand and you let out a huge sigh? That’s kind of what it’s been like. To know that you are not going to be fighting with your kid about when to turn off their iPad and go do something outside like you did when you were a kid is just, well, pretty amazing.

Continue reading “Offline living”