Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Total recall / Amnesia and everything in between.

I have been reading books since 1979.
That’s fairly a long time. Long enough to reminisce and record.
I will try to record them in the following categories. Not the usual best, inspirational, life-changing, unputdownable or the multiple read types.
But a completely new list of categories that I hope veteran readers would agree with.
I will refrain from citing examples for each category. I know what my list is. I shall be glad to know if the reader cares to share with me his/her list.
1 – “I can recall every single line from this” type
These are few certainly. I can remember every freaking word of these books. Not just the text even the position of the paragraph in the page layout, the colour of the page, some stains or scribbles or notations and their exact locations on each page. Sometimes even the weather and the condition of my living room / balcony / bedroom / toilet / kitchen (wherever I was reading it) while I was reading it. The story, character and the whole work stays etched. Forever. It has nothing to do with the quality of the book itself. It ranges from earth shattering to mundane. Explain it, I can never.
2 – “Bits and pieces” type
These are books that are a collage. There are parts that stay as vivid as the one explained in category 1 and other parts that are a complete strange wasteland. At times someone reads out a passage and play the guessing game and I draw a blank. Then when the book is revealed I am dumbfounded. I reread it to assure myself. And I do not have the foggiest recollection of ever having read that part. Though I do recall having read the book before. And am a diligent reader. Not the one who does scanning. I read E.V.E.R.Y. single word. The feeling is a complete opposite of Déjà vu
3 – “What the fuck was this about” type
These are books that I know I have read. That’s all. Period. I do not recall a single line, a single character or an incident from the book. No clue about the plot. None about the set-up, location, beginning or the end. If I start reading it again it is as if I am looking at it for the first time. And as is expected I lose my interest at about page 43 and they vanish from the radar till they surface again.
4 – “A promising start, wonderful to read but suddenly loses it” type
These are the never finished category. Sadly they total up to a sizeable number. As is expected these books are picked up with a huge recommendation and expectation. True to the hype they start off well. The life time of these books unfold in the following way. You start it on the very day you acquire it. You read late into night. Can’t wait to finish office and return home to grab it again and continue. It builds up nicely well and shapes up to be a good read. Then suddenly without explanation it becomes crap. You do not believe it is the same book. You continue just out of sheer perseverance and plod on. It becomes tougher each passing day. Then one day you just give up. It remains unread. And after a few years you pick it up again. They fall into category 3 when you pick it up. So you start again. Eerily it plays out exactly like the first time around. And you throw it away in disgust.
5 – “Complete waste of time” type
These are the books that you buy because it has such a negative publicity about them. These are clear no types. But you still buy them. Only with a hope that the critics could all be wrong. And you find out that it is you who is wrong at the end. Barring the complete lack of merit they loosely belong to category 4.
6 – “Can’t put your finger on the damn thing” type
This belongs to a huge number of books. You know the general plot. You for sure how it begins. How it takes shape. And how it ends. And that’s all there is to it. For the life of yours you can’t recall specifics. This is still good enough as you know the vital statistics.
7 – “The unbelievable comic”
This is beyond belief. All the comic books you have read stay vivid in your mind. Every frame, every punchline, every one liner, every wordplay in the names of characters, each crazy setting, each stupid adventure. You can never tire. Nothing acts better as a stressbuster than a copy of this category to perk up a gloomy day.
8 – “Why did they make a film out of this” type

They usually are a sub set of category 1. Against all wisdom you go and see the film. You run out of expletives. The only good thing that comes out of it is you return from the film and read the book again to wash the taste of the film from your system.

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