The new book is here – but I can’t remember the previous one!

January 17, 2015 Discussion 58

Button Not Yet Read

Oh shiny new next book in the series you are finally here!

But gosh damn I can remember practically jack diddily squat about what happened in the first book!

Oh no! Does this happen to you? It’s happening to me a whole lot more lately. Considering the amount of books I and likely many of you read in a year – how many plots, backstories and characters can one conceivably hold in our brains!? And for how long? Remember those good old school days of studying for exams? It’s something like that – you read, study the book, you remember it for oh how long really? maybe part of that year and then much of it likely passes from your brain into brain dumps land as you read the next 20 books. It’s inevitable.

So just reread it you say?

I used to reread…alot. Now a days – not so much. Why? Because there are sooo many new books that I want to read and I want to experience those new shiny books. Also, much of this has to do with the fact that I review books and there are only so many books I can fit into a year. So rereads had to mostly become a thing of the past for me. Though I do still do it every once in a great while, but honestly I really don’t have a desire to reread anymore. I guess I figure the books I REALLY truly loved will stay with me, and for the most part they do. The ‘so-so’ books definitely get brain dumped rather quickly…sometimes within days after having read said book. I kid you not there have been times when a day or two later I can’t remember character names, ouch right, they must not have made a big impression. Lol

Someone offer me a miracle solution!?

Thus I need a solution to my problem. One that doesn’t require me to reread. I used to think that my reviews were enough. But honestly my personal reviews AREN’T enough because I purposefully keep them vague so that I don’t ruin / spoil the reading experience for someone else. I find my reviews with character dossiers help me remember the best. Does this mean I need to start writing my own personal summaries and stashing them somewhere so I can have a quick Cliff Notes refresh when the next book comes around?

Not remembering poo poos on my next book parade

I think some of this might have a direct effect – the erstwhile named “SECOND BOOK SYNDROME!” Yes, the dreaded second book, will it live up to my expectations of the first!? But hell if I can’t remember much of the first other then my general feelings then isn’t that already setting the next book up at a disadvantage!?

Dish me up your delicious thoughts and remedies!

Luckily I did just find this amazing blog called RECAPTAINS! They are a team of bloggers from other blogs that all work together to do recaps of series books so that readers don’t have to reread!



Oh in case any of you really like reading Bookish and Reading Discussion posts. There is this monthly link-up for the 2015 Book Blog Discussion Challenge (Main page) January’s Linkup. This year long event is hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight! Be sure to check it out!

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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58 Responses to “The new book is here – but I can’t remember the previous one!”

  1. Brigid

    “Remember those good old school days of studying for exams? It’s something like that – you ready, study the book, you remember it for oh how long really maybe that year and then much of it likely passes from your brain into brain dumps as you read the next 20 books. It’s inevitable.”

    WHY MUST YOU TAUNT ME TABITHA?! This is my life right now.

    What I usually do is read other bloggers reviews to see if that’ll make me remember. But, otherwise if that doesn’t work I’ll (GASP) look for spoilerish things of the book on the internet.
    Brigid recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee AhdiehMy Profile

  2. Bec @ Readers in Wonderland

    This problem is the worst. I wish I had time to reread everything but I DON”T. Most books I look at other people’s reviews on Goodreads or try and find a plot summary if I struggle to remember. Then there’s the favourite series I re-marathon every time a book comes out because they’re amazing and I want to find all the little details I missed (eg The Raven Cycle, Throne of Glass, The Lotus War)

    Recaptains are great! And if it’s a semi popular book it might also have a wiki page with a full plot summary or something. Most times sequels do a fairly decent job of jogging your memory though (and if not then the book is full of surprises XD )
    Bec @ Readers in Wonderland recently posted…What’s in a Name? Hopefully Not MineMy Profile

  3. Jen (At Random)

    Yes! I definitely brain dump almost immediately after finishing a book. Maybe that’s part of the reason I have problems getting myself to continue series. Anyway, I’ll be bookmarking the recap site right away!
    Jen (At Random) recently posted…Anyone out there?My Profile

  4. Lynn

    I’m a bit like Nathan, I tend to find the plot usually comes back to me as I start to read – plus most books tend to go over and rehash a little of the last book – for those readers who haven’t read the last in series. I read my reviews sometimes – particularly if I can’t remember a person’s name – which happens quite a lot!! I found the most helpful thing ever in terms of remembering is when I’ve taken part in a readalong – like, Way of Kings and Words of Radiance were both readalong books and the level of discussion and questions each month are great to look back on!
    The other thing I have considered in the past was doing an alternative piece for each post I write – so in other words, one with spoilers. (In my post last week I mentioned why I started blogging, because I basically lost my book diary – that diary was just for me and so I could write what I wanted without spoiling it for others. Sometimes, since I’ve started blogging I’ve regretted that I couldn’t write about key plot points or secrets that have been revealed during a story because it would be helpful to me when reading the next book!) Writing an alternative piece wouldn’t be that much extra work really – write the post with spoilers then post it without spoilers but with a link in case anybody wants to go there. The only reason I thought about it was – 1, because of my own bad memory, 2, it would be useful to have the info and be able to look back and, 3, it’s surprising how many people actually want and look for the spoilers! I suppose the alternate would be to run a secondary spoiler blog! Sounds like a lot of work though!! There is also wiki – but the smaller, less well known books don’t tend to have pages on there.
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…Roll Up, Roll Up….My Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      It’s to bad you didn’t still keep your diary for spoiler parts. You know in goodreads when you write your review if you go to “more options” there is a section where you can write notes just to yourself that only you can see I think I might start doing that for the spoiler stuff i definitely want to remember!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon SandersonMy Profile

  5. Amy-Anne Williams

    Alohaa, I’m a new reader and I just wanted to say that your blog looks pretty cool and I’m going to be a returning reader from now on c:
    Also, let me know if you want to do the whole follow on GFC thing c:
    Little Moon Elephant

  6. Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections

    I have horrible memory in general, and that horrible memory does extend to me reading books. Especially because I’m awful at reading series, so there are AT LEAST about 30 books in between sequels for me. Or maybe two years. So I do re-read a lot, but I like it, because I get to relive my favourite moments, and rediscover some things I’d forgotten about.

    I really appreciated it when Veronica Roth posted that summary on Divergent when Insurgent came out. The Recaptains are probably the best way to freshen up your memory if you don’t want to reread! Or you can use the status updates and/or reviews on GR to freshen up your memory.
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Book vs Movie: The Fault In Our StarsMy Profile

  7. Ramona

    I forget books a lot. I think it’s normal when you read a lot, as we do. But you know what I figured out? The books that are memorable stay with me, even if they’re buried *deep* down, lol 😀 And usually, by the end of the first chapter of the new book, they come back to me. The important points, anyway… When that doesn’t happen I just know that the previous book wasn’t good enough. And sometimes I stop trying to read the sequel, usually give it away. I don’t have enough time to waste it on things that aren’t worth my while 🙂 Great post!
    Ramona recently posted…*DREAMING OF BOOKS* Giveaway HopMy Profile

  8. Silvara

    I hate when that happens! I recently picked up books 3 & 4 in a series that I’d been waiting for new books in for YEARS. I remember loving books 1 & 2 a ton, and checking every few months to see if there was anything new by that author and never seeing anything. Then I forgot after a few years, and last time I was at the bookstore just happened to see the 2-book set for 3 & 4. So I snatched it up!

    Only problem is, it’s been SO MANY years since I read the first 2, I remember little to nothing about them. So I’m going to have to re-read at least book 1 before I can read the 2 newest books.

    Usually when I’m blanking on series stuff, I just open the most recent one I read and skim a bit to see if it jogs my memory enough I can read the newest book in the series. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But usually there aren’t a huge number of years between reading books in the series, so I can get away with not completely re-reading the older books to get to the new ones.
    Silvara recently posted…Bloggers Who Don’t Respond To Comments?My Profile

  9. Michelle @ In Libris Veritas

    Take notes! That’s what I do (though I haven’t in the past few months). It helps me write up the reviews later and if it’s in a series that is taking forever to come out then I can look back and see what all happened and how I felt about it.
    I’m definitely going to look at Recaptains though.
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Saturday Issue Review: Shutterbox Vol. 1My Profile

  10. Anya

    As I was reading the post I was trying to remember what Recaptians were called so that I could recommend them to you ;-). I find they don’t have all the book series I’m reading though, so maybe we could start helping them so that your thoughts are stored securely and you might help others 😀
    Anya recently posted…When Life Gets HardMy Profile

      • Amber @ Books of Amber

        I’m totally lurking here but we cover all genres, it’s just that our own blogs mostly focus on YA fiction xD I’ve posted a few UF recaps though, with more to come eventually. All genres are welcome!

        And I have this issue ALL THE TIME, hence the Recaptains thing. I often completely forget the major plot points of a book that I read a year ago by the time the sequel comes out. Or I’ll just remember the ending and that’ll be it.

        Anyway… *crawls back into the shadows*
        Amber @ Books of Amber recently posted…Unspeakable by Abbie RushtonMy Profile

        • Tabitha (Pabkins)

          Hehe sneaky sneak you! I will totally be happy to try to contribute some recaps. I did notice it was very YA heavy but hey even then I’m sure they’re are some books in ya that I could maybe submit. But with the books I forget it usually is YA I forget anyway because I think more of those are samey same you know?
          Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon SandersonMy Profile

  11. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Me? I do the lazy but perhaps the most obvious thing – I just ask someone else who’s read the book, lol. We all remember different things, and usually talking to the other person I’m able to piece together whatever happened in the last book that I wasn’t able to glean from reading the intro of the sequel. I’ve asked others in the past and others have asked me, and I find it to be the most simple, obvious and straightforward way of recapping the book without having to reread, thank goodness.
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: New Books, Backlist, Reading Challenges & What I’ve ReadMy Profile

  12. Lola

    I usually just start the new book and hope I remember things along the way, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I like it when authors include some recap in their books, makes it easier to remember what went on in the previous books. I am sometimes reluctant to strat a next book in a series when I feel like I forgot too much. I remember I once read the Wheel of Time series, but the last 3 book weren’t released yet and after waiting for a year on the next book I forgot everything and couldn’t get into the book, so sad. I read all the books before that back to back, that was all before I discovered goodreads and bloggin.

    Sometimes it helsp to read other people their reviews of a book or search for spoilers for the previous book? Will check out that Recaptains blog you mentioend, it sound like an interesting concept!
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Hot Lightning recipeMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      The same thing happened to me with Wheel of Time! So a few years ago I reread them all planning to prepare for the last three books. So I read up to book ten …then got stuck on book ten because it sucked so bad and now can’t seem to force myself to finish the series! Blast that book ten!!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Words of Radiance by Brandon SandersonMy Profile

  13. meghann @ Becoming Books

    I go the Recaptains route if I can. They’ve saved me!! If not I’ll look for the book on audio for my re-read. I’m totally with you though, there’s very limited time for re-reads in series. I’m also considering becoming a better note taker as I read. I know a lot of people who do this, so maybe I’ll consider the the Recaptain format for my own notes?!? Who know… the answer is more time 😛
    meghann @ Becoming Books recently posted…Comic Sunday #15: Lowriders in SpaceMy Profile

  14. Jess @My Reading Dress

    YES THIS IS ME. I remember pretty much nothing. And I also have no time to reread. SO I just go for it and dive right in. BUT that’s probably not the best, tbh. I do read Recaptains though but I’ve found that that isn’t the best solution. ESP when it’s a series that’s only had two books out and so THE RECAP FOR BOOK TWO ISN’T OUT YET and I’m reading an arc and gah. But that’s a first world problem LOL Recaptains also helps me because I love spoilers LOL
    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Seeking Saturday’s Read #21: Coming To Terms With Blogging Balance, Cancelled TV Shows and Tackling Mime OrderMy Profile

  15. Leeanna @

    Ugh. This happens all the time for me. When I review a second or third book in a series, I tend to note how much recapping there is of previous events, and if it’s done well, blatantly, or not at all. I think authors do need to recap some of the big events, because hey, a year or more has likely gone by since 90% of people read the first book.

    I try to avoid spoilers in my own reviews, so they aren’t much help for me either. And I’m with you on some books being so-so and forgetting most details within a day or so.

    Sometimes I will reread, especially if I *loved* book one, but I don’t always have time for that…

    I don’t think there’s an easy solution!
    Leeanna @ recently posted…The Reading Machine [12] – January 18, 2015My Profile

  16. Valerie

    HAHAHA wut “Not remembering the poo poos” HAHA THE POO POOS. Heheh that is very entertaining and a hilarious phrase. But yeah I usually deal with this with my reviews, because they aren’t that vague for meee. OH YOU KNOW WHAT YOU COULD DO? You could read reviews of the first book/second book on Goodreads or blogs!!! Because some reviews provide A LOT of details 🙂 HAHAH I AM SO SMART
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #40My Profile

  17. Emily Alfano

    i feel your pain! this has been happening ALOT to me lately and it’s rather annoying! i don’t typically have the time to reread the first book, and if it’s a book from a long series, that almost makes it even worse because i do not have time or the energy to reread the entire series before i start the new one! if you hear of any great solutions, let me know!:)

  18. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I was all ready to recommend Recaptains to you when I saw it at the bottom of your post. They have saved me more times than I can tell you. Like you, I just can’t bring myself to re-read when there are already so many amazing books to read! I keep thinking I should write some recaps for them myself – but then I forget about it. I think it would work best if you took notes while reading. But they have such an awesome thing going – I think it would be great to help them out!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Giveaway & Top Ten List – Dare by Allie Juliette MousseauMy Profile

  19. Felicia (asillygirl)

    It’s always like this for me. I’m so excited for a new book, and then I’m just like: Okay, wait, what happened, and what’s he doing there, oh yeah, wasn’t it something about, etc.
    Because sometimes I read so many other books while waiting for a new book, and then I get them totally mixed up 😀

    – Love, Felicia
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