Friday, October 8, 2010

When You Forget What You Read

By Steven J. Dubner, co-author of "Freakonomics"

Very interesting essay by James Collins (this one, not that one) in the New York Times Book Review about forgetting what you read.

I have just realized something terrible about myself: I don’t remember the books I read. I chose Perjury as an example at random, and its neighbors on my bookshelf, Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (on the right) and Anka Muhlstein’s Taste for Freedom: The Life of Astolphe de Custine (on the left), could have served just as well. These are books I loved, but as with Perjury, all I associate with them is an atmosphere and a stray image or two, like memories of trips I took as a child.

This is of interest to me because I read a lot and seem to forget nearly as much. From what I can tell, I tend to remember non-fiction better than fiction; for non-fiction, I tend to remember journalism better than books (at least when it comes to factual details).

Read more at the New York Times.

This article refers to a previous article, "The Plot Escapes Me," by James Collins and also at the New York Times.

1 comment:

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