When it comes to remembering certain details, I'm not too good. Sometimes I have the same trouble remembering what happens in books I've read.
A true, illustrative, story:
About ten years ago, I bought a book with a great premise by an author I liked (a sci-fi thriller). I read it, despite some slow pacing, until some plot twist at around page 200 didn't agree with me. But rather than put it down, I slogged through because I wanted to see what happened. I finished the book, hated the ending, and got miffed with myself for wasting all that time. Okay, stuff happens. Move on.
I moved on about three years, until I went to my bookshelf, picked up a book with a great premise by an author I liked, and started reading it. (Groundhog Day, anyone?) At around page 200, I ran into a plot twist I didn't like. Now about this time, I got the vague sense that maybe I'd read the book before, but did I put it down? NO! I slogged through the rest of it because I wanted to see what happened. Would you believe I got miffed at myself for wasting my time?
I think this was the only book I've ever thrown into the trash can. (What's that saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and I'd better get rid of the book before I pick it up a THIRD time"?)
I'm so totally in awe every time I read one of Margot's posts with all these intricate details and facts about books she's devoured (I'm guessing many of those books she read a while ago). I mean, I think I've read some of Agatha Christie's stuff, but please, don't ask me any details. (I only hope she went on to become a successful author with a long career.)
Unfortunately, my memory doesn't just fail on books I've read. Often, I struggle with remembering the details about books I've written. Talk about embarrassing!
Take Diamonds for the Dead. It just came out, but because of the lead times (and waiting times) involved in the world of publishing, I wrote that a while ago, and I've written hundreds of thousands of words since. When I read the page proofs not too long ago, it was sort of like reading an entirely new book!
Sometimes, I'll go back through my files of half-finished projects to see if anything strikes my fancy, and I can't even remember writing them! It's kind of weird, because for many other things, I've got an excellent memory. Maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me something.
What about you? Do you have an encyclopedic memory of books you've read (like Margot), or are you more like me, who can't remember what was in the morning newspaper? (Hmm. Did I actually read this morning's paper? Can't remember.)
But please don’t believe a word he says about my memory. What was that he said? ; )
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Déjà Vu