Recently, I was at my local library, having a browse for some books (since I’ve recently moved, my local library is huge, which is amazing!). It’s not as if I don’t already have enough books at home and on my Kindle to read, but still…the library means free books! You can’t argue with that!
Anyway, my eye was caught by the book Windwitch by Susan Dennard, and I was so excited! I read and loved Truthwitch about a year ago, and had been keeping my eye out for Windwitch at the library, or popping up for sale on Amazon. And suddenly there it was! Just waiting for me! I excitedly took it home, ready to read it, when it suddenly occurred to me…as much as I had loved Truthwitch, I had forgotten literally everything that had happened in it.
I looked up a recap online and began to read through it, and whilst some of it rang a bell, a lot of it just confused me more. I mean, who was this character again? How did the magic system work? What was the implication of all these crazy events? Laid out like that, in bullet point format, it made little sense to me, even though I had read the book, and really enjoyed it.
I ploughed on with reading Windwitch anyway, and I did enjoy it. After a while I began to reacquaint myself with the world and characters, although I don’t think I managed to fully reimmerse myself in it. This meant I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I maybe could have done, if I’d read it straight after Truthwitch.
And that seems like such a shame, because it wasn’t the book’s fault. It was the fault of my appalling memory! Although when you read a lot of books, how are you supposed to remember all the details of everything? This happens to me all the time, and it’s so annoying! My own reviews don’t even help jog my memory, because I try and avoid spoilers for people who haven’t read the book, so it only tells me my feelings about the book (which is generally the only thing I’ll actually remember anyway!).
It even puts me off starting books I know I’ll enjoy, because I’m sure my inability to remember exactly what happened in the previous book will ruin it for me. For example, I’ve been procrastinating reading Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones since it came out last year, even though I absolutely adored Wintersong. Why? Because I can’t fully remember what happened in Wintersong!
So I’m curious to know: is this a big problem for other people? What do you do to combat it? Do you find reading online summaries helpful?