Discussion: Do you also forget character’s names? And scenes? And specifics about books you loved?

Hi dear friends,

I am back on this thursday with another discussion topic. It’s something that is nagging at my mind and sometimes makes me feel lacking: remembering names, scenes, specifics about books you’ve read.

You see once I have finished reading the book or even in the middle of my read, if you ask me to name the female character I often come up with a blank! I have to open the book and read about her name!

 

The same happens when I write the review and that’s usually just after I have finished the book!!!

So why this lack of memory?

I came up with some theories/explanations:

1) Often in the books that I read the main character is the female one. Mostly told from her perspective. So she gets to frequently name the other characters. We see them and learn them through her eyes but encounter her name less frequently or indirectly.

This makes me walking in her shoes and forgetting her name to focus on other’s .

2) If her name is really unique I will remember it! While a name I’ve seen on dozens other heroines will leave a smaller impression.

3) I am more interested in the boyfriend in the story (I mostly read romances). I often fall for him and I am not far from doodling his name on some notebooks like a lovesick teenager.

 

Let’s look further and go to specific scenes.

I see other bloggers or instagrammers asking questions like “What was the best kissing scene that you’ve read about?” or “What was the most epic scene in that book? “or ….

My personal drama (ok I am a drama queen ….) is that I rarely recall one particular scene in a book but more a general feeling! It made me sad or the atmosphere was gothic or I was stressed etc.

Some rare books and scenes stay in my mind but not many. Hence my inability to complete some tags asking you to go down memory lane!

 

Why is that?

I think some is due to the sheer amount of books that I have read and read. They tend to blend into one another after some time.

Maybe some plot or tropes are recurring all the time and it becomes difficult to recall the specifics.

I am also a reader who feels! I don’t see words but I experience feelings. That’s also why most of my reviews are very enthusistic or ranty and overflowing with lots of impression and feelings.

 

Of course, there are some exceptions.

These are usually books that turned my world upside down or have been so unique that they simply can’t be confused with other books.

 

 

The only explanation that I hope avoiding here is old age and me forgetting because I am no longer in my prime LOL.

 

Now it’s your turn! Do tell me: do you recall everything? And how do you do it? Or do you have the attention span of a goldfish like me?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Sophie

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42 Replies to “Discussion: Do you also forget character’s names? And scenes? And specifics about books you loved?”

  1. Oh, same here!
    Even though i take notes, if i just talk about the book to my friend, i often don’t remember what the character was called.
    I remember reading a lot of thrillers with a character called Anna… sort of started looking at that name as quite an unfortunate one. 😀

    I think for me it’s the amount of books i read… so far i don’t think i started mixing plots, but characters for sure.

  2. I always nickname the characters in a book. Hahaha I have to look them up for reviews. Studies have shown that our poor memories is due to social media. It rewires our brains to think shallowly. ❤️

  3. Oh, for sure! The only names I remember are from the books I re-read constantly as a child. Otherwise, I have no idea. I remember going through convolutions when writing essays in school–“the protagonist’s neighbor’s cousin”–because I knew who they were, I just didn’t know their names. I have the same problem with actual people, frankly. I need to hear someone’s name repeatedly, AND see it written down, before I start to remember it, even if I remember the person perfectly well.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Bwahahaha yes indeed hearing a name repeatedly and seeing it written could help! Maybe we should read the names aloud while reading?

  4. Lol!, Oh, Sophie we are so similar; reading this discussion post I could have written it myself.

    I get completely captivated by a good story – I feel my heart pounding in the tense or fight scenes, I blubber like a baby during the emotional scenes and I definitely go red as a beetroot and feel my tummy tingling during all the sex scenes but I have to use the Kindle search feature to remind me of character names.

    n.b. thank you for not blaming age – of course it’s not anything to do with how old we are, can’t be, definitely not… no….no…..no… what were we talking about?

    x

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Bwahahahah Happy that you can identify with my post Flora! There is comfort in knowing we are not alone 🙂

  5. I often forget the main characters names too or other character names at times too or I only remember the first letter or something like that. I have had to look up a characters name a few times when writing a review and even used the wrong name a few times in my review, oops. Then on the other hand there are scenes or parts that do remain vividly in my head. I recently thought about this how in cozy mysteries the thing I forget really quickly is who was the murderer, while I can remember other parts of the story or mystery.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I think our brain works in strange ways Lola! Probably our impressions and feelings last longer than “words” kind of like Proust’s Madeleine?

  6. This happens to me all the time. I forget the names of characters as soon as I finish a book. We just read too many books! LOL! 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha I would never have guessed Angela!

  7. This happens to me all the time. If I’m reading an ARC I write myself little notes that I look back on to help me with my review.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too! I highlight main events or quotes or physical descriptions of the characters!

  8. Great post, Sophie! It’s not easy to remember every character names and scenes in a book when you read lots of books in a month or week. Some people take notes while reading the book but I find it distracting. I can’t review a book without re-opening the book. Sometimes when I’m too lazy to browse through a book, I’ll just check out other reviews in goodreads that has lengthy summaries.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Bwahahaha good tip Raven! I will do it too if I waited too long to write my review and need to recall some specifics.

  9. I read and listen to 200-300 books a year..this happens to me all the time! Hell sometimes I even rename the characters in my review. One time Rhiannon Frater commented on a review and said I adore this review but who are xx and xx. Yep, I changed their names. Bwahaha. That being said, I can always pick up a book and read the first few pages and the whole dang thing comes back to me. I think the hardest is a series, because you forget one happened in which book etc.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      You renamed them??? And I also remember everything once I read the first sentences. Like the push needed to launch the memory.

  10. Yep. I forget these things from books I loved. I think part of it is that I move right on to the next books and become immersed in it. I also feel and visual a lot while reading and that often leaves names forgotten and previous scenes become less focused.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I did not think of the visual but you are totally right Laura! Of course I see the images in my head so I don’t see the names and can’t remember them!

  11. YES! I forget names all the time. If I don’t review a book right away, I usually have to look at other people’s Goodreads reviews to remember the names of the minor characters. I read so many books that the names all blur together.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I peek at other reviews too if I foget something specific AJ!

  12. I cackled when I saw this, because I can never remember the characters names. I actually highlight their names as I read, so I can pull up the notes, when I am writing my reviews. I will admit, I do tend to do a lot of hero worship in my reviews, but I still usually like the heroines.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I do highlight their names too Sam! Usually at the begin of the stories!

  13. Hand up, yep, I’m another who quite often does that, where the POV is first person especially. And reading so many books over the years, it’s worse for anything I read last month, never mind last year. Or even, years ago. Though it does depend on what kind of an impact a book and characters make on me. I remember most of the plots for all of Louise Penny’s books, and what the characters did, for the most part.

    And don’t get me started on age, and being forgetful. 😉

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Shhh we won’t speak of age here Alexandra!!

  14. I actually tend to have a freakishly good memory when it comes to books, characters, scenes, etc. I recall names and details… to the point that my husband kind of teases me about it. No idea why it stays with me so well, but that filing cabinet part of my brain is easily accessed! LOL

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Go hide Tanya! really! LOL I have an amazing memory for cases and files at work but for my readings absolutely not! But once I’ll read the first sentences of a book everything will come back in a rush.

  15. Omg yes! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who forgets names! My book friends will say something about a character in a book and I’m like who is that, I cant remember!!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha same here Caro! I am so ashamed sometimes!

      1. Me too! The pressure to remember names!!!!!

  16. Welcome to my life. I can absolutely love books and feel intensely about them but a few days later remember little about the actual plot, just the fact that I loved reading a great book!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I really wonder why it is so Anne Marie!

  17. I do all the times

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Kinship!

  18. I have enough trouble remembering my own name and what I did last week, never mind a character, lol.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Bwahahahah! But do tell me Jacquie do you at least remember the names of YOUR characters?

      1. Umm? honestly, not always, lol

  19. This is why I struggle with book tags so much. My memory is terrible. Books stand out to me, but then I can’t remember names or specific scenes. I have been blaming it on age (41), how many books I read, and just having so much going on. I know I love specific books, but I don’t always remember things like “great siblings”, “favorite strong characters”, etc.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Pfew! I feel so much better now! LOL

      1. Me, too. It helps to know you’re not alone.

  20. I do this ALL THE TIME. Tho for me its not just the main females name, I just forget names in general. Its hard to explain but I think I don’t actually read the names, I just see the name and associate it with a picture in my head. So if I see the name I know exactly which character it is, but if I am asked to recall the name I am hopeless! Though if it is a super unique name I am more likely to remember it too haha. I also have trouble remembering specifics scenes. I am a total mood reader when picking books, but it goes further than that, I am a mood reader while reading too. I remember how it makes me feel and not the specifics as much.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I have the same process Brittany! And as you are much younger than I I am relieved that I can’t blame old age LOL

    2. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Same here Brittany and as you are much younger than I I can’t blame old age LOL

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