Bookish Discussion

Growing Indifferent Towards Books I Previously Enjoyed

Hello friends! I’m here with a discussion today, which is going to be about memorable books and their opposites, but most importantly, about books I enjoyed, had positive emotions about… just to then become completely indifferent toward. It’s a chunkier post, but I hope you’ll enjoy this rambly, messy discussion.. it might not seem like it, but I tried my best to organize my thoughts. ๐Ÿ˜… Okay, let’s jump in!

I read a lot and I have a pretty weak memory, so obviously, my memories of the books I’d read a while ago aren’t extremely vivid in most cases. But as long as I enjoyed a novel, I’m usually able to recall one or multiple aspects that made me love it, e.g. the romance, the atmospheric setting, or the characters. For instance, I read Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase novels a long time ago, thus many of the details have escaped me, but I do remember my favorite aspects and still fondly recall things like:

  • the awesome friendship between our main cast
  • how sassy and banter-filled the novels were
  • how much I enjoyed the slow development of the romance
  • what fun the world-building was
  • and so on!

This is not just cold, factual information in my brain – rather memories that make me smile and emotional even to this day. ๐Ÿฅฐ A different category of books, but one that also carries some fond memories is the category of old favorites I wouldn’t want to revisit today. In this case, I know I wouldn’t enjoy these books today, either because their content is questionable or because I’ve outgrown them. Even so, I remember how much my younger self loved these books, which means that there are some positive emotions associated with them. A good example is Twilight, the novel that introduced me to Young Adult Fantasy, a genre that remained my favorite for years.

The direct opposite of these fond, happy feelings associated with books are, of course, negatives, such as anger, disappointment, or hatred. There are, unfortunately, a few books every year that make me feel these strong, negative emotions. Similarly to the good books like Magnus Chase, these too are memorable… but not in a good way, i.e. if I think of them, my negative emotions will resurface.

I’d be remiss not to mention that there are quite a lot of books – usually three star-reads for me – that I read, am underwhelmed by, and then forget all about. The important thing to remember here is that these books have never made me feel strong emotions, positive or negative, so the fact that I’ve forgotten them is not surprising, nor does it make me sad.

Today’s post was inspired by a less well-defined category and one that makes me so. bloody. annoyed. now that I’m thinking about it. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ These are books that I enjoyed – think of 4 star reads – but then, as time went on, became unmoved by. In most of these cases I’m able to recall the characters and even specific events from these books. The issue is that essentially right after I closed them, they lost their hold on me. These are not bad books, as – like I said – I tend to have strong feelings about books I consider to be bad, but I have no real feelings whatsoever about these books.

The reason why I find these books frustrating is that I like them, I might even recommend them to people, but sooner rather than later I just become indifferent to them. I’d call them forgettable, but I’m not sure that’s the right expression here, as I do remember many of them in perfect detail. Let’s look at an example.

I think Beach Read was one of 2020’s biggest titles, even though I know some romance readers were disappointed by the botched marketing; while I’d call Beach Read women’s fiction / chick-lit, it was strongly marketed as a romance novel or a rom-com. In any case, I was fine with that, and I really enjoyed Beach Read when I was reading it for the first time. I called it “one of the best summer reads Iโ€™ve ever read” in my review, which was absolutely true at that time, as I enjoyed the heck out of that novel while reading it. But, unfortunately, when I think of Beach Read now, I just don’t feel anything.

๐ŸคŽ Related post: Contemporary Romance Mini Reviews

The post I linked above contains mini reviews for three contemporary romance novels that I consumed and enjoyed during the summer of 2020. I rated all three novels, including Beach Read, four stars, which suggests that I enjoyed them equally. That might have been the case, but interestingly enough, while all my positive emotions regarding Beach Read have disappeared, I still remember the other two novels fondly.

  • Take a Hint, Dani Brown makes me beam when I think of it. I loved the romance, the characters, and how witty the novel was.
  • Head Over Heels, which I’d have called the weakest of the three at the time, still gives me strong emotions, particularly when I think of how well the author handled the sexual assault and the verbal abuse.

Beach Read, however, makes me feel nothing, which brings me to my question to you – does this happen to you? Do you ever read a book that you enjoy, rate highly, maybe even recommend to others, but then feel extremely underwhelmed by a few months later? When I look back at Beach Read, I have no scathing criticism.. in fact, I think some of the scenes are really fun and well-written, but thinking of the novel, its characters and other aspects no longer fills me with joy like it should.

I feel like this discussion is all over the place, but no matter, I’m really curious to hear your thoughts! So do share them with me down in the comments!

22 thoughts on “Growing Indifferent Towards Books I Previously Enjoyed

  1. This was very well put together. And yes, this happens to me constantly. I have a horrible memory, and I forget most of a book preeetty fast, so this is definitely something I’ve experienced. Sometimes I’ll read a 4-star, or even 5-star, book and I just know that despite loving it, in a few months (or less) I’ll have forgotten almost everything. It happens more with contemporary or romance books for some reason, and at this point I’m not too bothered by it anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe my ratings and reactions for a book are strongly tied to where I was mentally at that time. I have had books that just did an incredible job of lifting my mood or taking me away from it all, but could those results be reproduced? Probably not. My moods change, but so do my tastes, as well as attitudes towards certain things. (PS I agree. Beach Read was fiction, not a rom-com, not a romance. I can still produce tears thinking about her reading those letters on the boat though)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve definitely experienced that too. Not to mention that what format I’m reading a book in can also influence how much I enjoy it – e.g. I’ve listened to some excellent audiobooks where the narrators added a lot to the story. I do wonder how I would have rated the same books had I read them physically.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really feel this post! I too as well have lost the luster for some books I once really enjoyed and now find them meh. I’ve actually gone back and changed my rating on some reviews if I have a significant change of feelings towards them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Iโ€™d call them forgettable, but Iโ€™m not sure thatโ€™s the right expression here, as I do remember many of them in perfect detail.”
    It makes sense. They entertained you, had enough of a plot and /or characters to be solid, but didn’t necessarily “speak” to your heart ๐Ÿ™‚.

    You know I reread a lot…well, I usually feel the same about my reread books as I did the first time around – or I happen to like them a tad more sometimes. On the contrary, I’ve had a couple of 4 star books lately that I didn’t get attached to, for different reasons, but that I still rated 4 stars because it was totally a “me” thing – I wasn’t the right reader for them or they didn’t wow me the second time around, but I could see them meaning a lot to the right person. That’s a little different from what you were saying though. My feelings towards books I’ve yet to reread don’t usually change when I think back to them. It must be a little sad when it happens ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good way of putting it! Even though I enjoyed Beach Read – the book I used as an example – it didn’t make me as emotional as my favorites do, so I didn’t form an emotional attachment to it. I’m glad your rereads don’t usually disappoint you, Roberta! ๐Ÿ˜€


  5. This was a super interesting discussion to read! โค The book that immediately came to mind for me was Children of Blood and Bone. There was so much hype and as I also love fantasy books I got swept up in it. I rated it 5 stars and it was one of my faves of the year. Yet I don’t think about it often or have strong feelings about it anymore. I might reread it should I read the sequel (which got pretty mixed reviews), to see if I still like it ๐Ÿ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Oh my god, I feel the exact same way about Children of Blood and Bone! I loooved it when I read it, rated it 5 stars, recommended it in a few posts… and then forgot all about it. After finishing it, I was so excited for the sequel and couldn’t wait for the release date, but by the time the sequel was released I lost interest and I doubt I will ever continue the series. ๐Ÿ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I totally thought this post was going on a different direction at first and I was going to say that there are plenty of books I’ve rated highly and can’t remember a single thing about them. Book amnesia is strong. But I can relate to rating a book pretty well only to think back on it later and think actually I’ve rated that all wrong. It was good but as a whole made no major impact on my life and I probably wouldn’t revisit. There’s nothing wrong with books like that but they are weirdly deceptive. They tend to be the books I like but find I’m not able to recommend them to others because if I think on it I realise I didn’t enjoy them as much as I thought and cant really give you anything on why I liked it. it just worked at the time if that makes sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Book amnesia is so strong, especially with genres I’ve read a lot of books from. I remember when I was reading tons of historical romances after a while most of them started to blur together. You’re right about not being able to recommend these books – I actually don’t remember recommending Beach Read – the book I used as an example – on the blog. (Not to say I didn’t, but even if I did, it wasn’t many times.) It’s hard to recommend a book when it left no impact on you. The other thing I’ve just realized is that with books like that I have no interest in checking out other books by the author – I know the author of BR released something new this year but I couldn’t care less..


  7. Oh, I’ve definitely noted this phenomenon before. I even wrote a whole post years ago asking if people ever revisit ratings for this very reason (I landed on not changing my ratings, I believe, but I was sorely tempted). Sometimes a book that I rated lower really sticks out in my mind months later and a book that I loved just … fades away. It’s such an interesting phenomenon, and I’ve wondered what that intangible something is that makes a book truly memorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way about changing ratings as you do! There are so many books I *know* I would hate today and that I have issues with, but when I had read them originally I loved them and rated them really highly. I feel like it’d be impossibly taxing to go back and change all those ratings, though. The other thing is that those ratings represent how I felt about those books when I read them – e.g. as a teen – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


  8. I’m so annoyed that it took me so long to get to this post, because you’ve described the experience that I have so often so freaking well! I honestly think that describes how I’ve been feeling about a lot of my reads this year in general. There are so many that I’ve enjoyed and would recommend, but there are very few that I feel will stick with me. And unfortunately, in the months that passed, few books have stuck with me, proving that my suspicions were correct.

    I think that’s what makes a book a true favorite for me. It’s one that has an impact on me for more than just a week or two. Even if my memory fades, or it no longer would be a favorite, it’s one that I remember loving enough that I’d be willing to call it a past favorite and recommend it to others.

    Fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s experienced this. It’s really sad to read a book, even if you enjoy it, and know that it’s just not going to stay with you. :/ Last month wasn’t a great reading month for me and I read multiple books like this which was so frustrating.

      I really like what you described there! I feel like I wouldn’t enjoy some of my old favorites if I were to reread them, but I have such good memories about them that I don’t care, they still mean a lot to me.

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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