Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Surely this cannot be

A few days ago, I bought this book, Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman. It is the biography of a woman who was born in post-war Poland and lived in Krakow until she was 13, when her family emigrated to Canada. She later attended school in the United States and eventually became an author and a book critic for the New York Times. I was quite enthusiastic about the book, and was describing it to my husband later that same evening. The conversation degenerated into something like this:

Him: You've read that book!

Me: What!? No, I haven't.

Him: Yes, you've read that book before. You checked it out from the library here and read it a few years ago.

Me: That's impossible. I would remember it. (Wouldn't I?)

Him: You told me all about it at the time--I remember it made an impression on you. How come I remember the story you told me but you don't remember reading it?

Me: It must have been some other book. I've read other biographies. I read a bit here and there, and it didn't seem as if I'd read it before. No, it's just not possible.

Him: (giving more details of book) You've read it before. The cover even looks familiar.

Me: I refuse to believe it.

I'm still not entirely convinced, but it may be horribly true. I read this book and it was completely erased from my brain by...aliens! That's it! No, not aliens. Age, I suppose. Or...I've got it!...pregnancy! Somewhere along the line, perhaps I lost the brain cells that remembered reading this book.

Even if it is true that I read this book some years ago, I'm not sorry I bought it and I'm still looking forward to reading it. I'm not hurt by reading the book a second time, but I am aghast at the thought that I could so completely forget a book--a book that, according to my husband, made a definite impression on me at the time.

So the big dilemma is this: do I count this as a new book read or a reread?

I wonder if there is a category for half and half?


At 3:49 AM , Blogger Tim's Mom said...

Count it as a new book unless it all comes back to you before you finish it.

I have an answer for everything! LOL!

At 12:59 AM , Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I am almost reconciled to that little incident whereby I thought I had never even heard of John Erskine or The MOral Obligation to Be Intelligent, and after telling somebody that, I found a page in my book journal with a one sentence review (highly positive) of that same book- said review written a year or so prior. In my handwriting. Which I insist must be a forgery. By those same aliens.


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