Flights of Fancy | A Rose by Any Other Name?

I’ve realized something about myself lately, and I’m finding it a little bit alarming.  I need to know if I’m the only one out there with this affliction!

I struggle to remember the names of characters when I’m not actively reading the book!  The second I put the book down, I struggle to remember the names of the characters!


I don’t know if it’s old age, or if I’ve read too many books that remembering each name has become difficult, but it’s driving me nuts.  I go to write my review and it takes me a good 2-3 minutes to remember the names of the characters, and I write my reviews immediately!

It’s not that I can’t remember the characters.  I’ll remember whole scenes, interactions, and sigh romantically over my favorite characters.  It is literally only their names that elude me.  I’m might be making this into something silly, but in the heat of the moment I do feel a tiny little burst of panic, like I’m too young to be forgetting the important stuff!  (Book characters are IMPORTANT, damn it!)

I think it’s harder when characters have common names.  In the last few days I’ve read stories about Theo, Jamie, Wesley, Cal, Percy, Lloyd, Henry, Reed, Dylan, Gabe… and crap… I just finished this book last night… what the hell were their names??  Um… *Birdie’s checking Goodreads* …DAMN, Lucy and Josh!  In my brain they were Shortcake and Serial Killer Eyes.  (Which doesn’t make the book sound interesting at all.  -Or actually, maybe it does?)


Anyway, I think it’s a lot easier to remember a name when it’s something like “Finnikin of the Rock”, or “Mr. Kindly”, right?  Those don’t fade when you close the book.  However, names like Wesley and Jamie have been in SO many books I’ve read.  It begins to make the names less important than the plot and characters.  Which, I guess is as it should be, right?  I mean, would Jamie Fraser be different if Diana Gabaldon had chosen to name him Seamus?  I bet not.  Maybe I’m making a mountain out of mole hill.

Am I the only one that struggles with this?  I don’t feel like names used to be a problem for me, but maybe I’m just more aware of it now?

I’ll feel a lot better if someone can back me up here?


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About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

15 Responses

  1. Jamie probably wouldn’t have been any different, but I bet the amount of people who initially picked up the book would be less. Names have an impact on whether or not I pick up a book. I remember one blurb I read, and the hero and heroine had such similar names I was stumbling over them there. I can’t imagine what would have happened had I actually picked up the book.

    Fun post!


  2. I always have trouble with this! Especially when I don’t know how to pronounce the name. When reading I see the name and associate it with a picture in my head of the character. So the word is replaced with a picture so I don’t really register the word. Does that make any sense? The first time I really noticed I did this was with Hermione in Harry Potter. This was before the movie so no one really knew how to pronounce her name!


  3. Beware Of The Reader

    I am so happy I am not alone Wendy!!!!! If I don’t write the review the minute after I finished reading the book the names become blurry. Well maybe not the male MC as I recall him for a few days but not more. Yet I used to remember easily before Goodreads. But I re read by that time and now it’s one after another. Except for truly Amazing characters with unusual names (Oxen, Roselle etc.) I don’t remember them either.


  4. Every once in a while I will completely blank on a name in a book… or you know I’ll go to write the review and go ‘shit, what did I just read?!’ and then I have to read the blurb to remind me. I don’t know why that happens. Maybe it’s just everything else I have to do in life takes up too much space in my brain that I blank on what’s important you know? 😛
    But I do like your characters Shortcake and Serial Killer Eyes, they sound remarkable! 😀 😛


  5. If a book is in first person I might forget the name of the character while I’m literally reading the book! But lol, I do this all the time, glad to know it’s something that happens to others too.


  6. I used to not even be able to remember characters’ names the second I closed a book too. But I got a lot better at it once I started blogging. I think cuz I *think* about each book I read more now. But after a certain amount of time passes, I do sometimes forget, depending on how much of an impact the book left on me.


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