Reader’s Dilemma!

Do you remember everything you read? Like, every single plot, every single theme of the book, or protagonists’ name or every detailed thought that occupied his/her mind?


I mean I know it is insanely impossible, but wouldn’t life be so much easier? I mean there are times when I need references from something I have already read, and yet I am blank. At times like these I wonder, what was the point of reading it when I have already forgotten it?


And then there is the trouble of reading it again. What with all the other unread books, I will never be able to finish what I want to read if I keep piling up the list. I should make peace with that now when I have books marked ‘to be read’ on my Kindle app, some post-its thrown about here and there, some names written on the back of my notebooks and journals, some screenshots found on the internet, some names scribbled in the notes app on my phone, some books already bought, some added in the cart just for the sake of it!


But coming back to remembering whatever I have read, now that would make a whole lot of things easier for me, especially when it comes to my exams. I’d give you an instance. I like reading classics, unlike what Mark Twain said, “Classic- a book which people praise and don’t read” I believe in reading them which also helps me in my studies and papers. However, this not-remembering stuff isn’t quite cool. What is the point of reading something 5 years earlier and not remember it when asked surprisingly in an exam? Now I know it sounds insane, but be that as it may, people expect you to remember everything, every single thing that you have read, ever, even if it is a name of a dog that the protagonist owns in a 1920 novel written by so and so!


Again, what’s the point exactly!!

Published by Moushmi Radhanpara

A bilingual writer, Moushmi Radhanpara has authored three poetry collections so far, namely POSIES and 03:21 AM –An Ode to Rust & Restlessness, and Resignation of an Angel. She is also scribbling an unplanned rough draft of a story as a part of NANOWRIMO 2020 and hopes that something might come out of it. She has also co-authored two books, The Lockdown Stories and Mirage so far. Her poetries can be found on her blog and a few other online portals. She believes in the fact that a better reader makes a better writer. Reading a 100 books a year is her latest obsession. She can be found either drunk on coffee or hiding away from everything and admiring the gorgeous sun.

55 thoughts on “Reader’s Dilemma!

  1. The person who’s expecting you to reproduce answers about stuff you studied, has the same problems with not knowing or remembering everything. He or she is more interested or specialized in THAT subject and (bluntly) expects you to be too. I think we remember by connection. Small details, like your example of remembering the name of the dog. You will remember the Rottweiler called Rob in book so-and-so because it reminded you of teacher Rob who was as nasty/ big/ hairy. Maybe Rottweiler was the teachers nickname😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s so me. Being a booklover, when someone asks what all you read and which books would you recommend? At that point, I completely go blank as if I was never in touch with any of the books.That becomes awkward.😛😛

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  3. I assume you are a student of English literature. There is a difference in reading a book as part of academics and reading for pleasure, the same difference that goes with writing blogs and writing exams. I, for example remember my zombie like reading of electromagnetic theory as part of my studies and the same Maxwell’s equations and their derivations being so much fun when I read it later as part of understanding Hawking’s book.
    The problem, as I see, lies in the way the questions are posed in the exams. Instead of name of the dog and the name of the time the dog was found murdered in, they should be asking questions on what you feel when you read the book, what does the dog mean to you as a reader, what would you think of it if you were the writer instead, or say you were Kafka 🙂
    If that was the format of tests, we wont make an attempt to memorize, remember(as you say) but you would dive beyond the surface of the plots and the proper nouns, you would read much more than what is presented.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your assumption is right!
      And you are very accurate with the ideology of the exam pattern. However, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. All they want is correct answers.
      However, i am at wrong too. When it comes to exams I don’t read, delving too much. But when it comes to reading otherwise I have gone to extreme cases in researching the publishers and editions too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL btw still reading your long long post, current feeling about what is wrong with the once chirpy spoilt M. is that she didn’t ingest enough coffee in the morning and decided to listen to Ishmael . But then it may all boil down to our G.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. More things falling apart? Hopefully little things, do take care. I was reading the train post while writing these comments, so kinda picturized

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Three thoughts – first, scientifically it is proven that the first pass read retention is only 2%, so if you want to remember you need to read again and again. They say 5 reads give you 80-90% of retention. Second, I love classics too – so that makes us two. Third, the exam model needs to change – why do we need to remember when there is google – test should be on aptitude – oh there is a fourth one – I love your writing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks Shantanu. Well, aren’t classics a cherish transporting you to a whole other era?
      Well the exam pattern really need to change, a lot of things i noticed during my paper which really isn’t fair.
      But thanks for reading as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m confronting the same dilemma. So many books and so little time. I know that I would get more out of a book I have previously read if I take it on for a second round. But the greatest point in reading is that it helps you to become a good writer. It strengthens your vocabulary, diction skills, and your grammar. The more you read, the better you can write, and reading the classics shows you how it’s done. Witnessing great art helps you to become an artist yourself. This post is one I can certainly relate to. This is my take on it.


Your perception holds importance for me.

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