Vaguely Familiar

Yesterday was my ritual trip to Barnes and Noble – I always make it a point to visit the mega store here in Naples because it’s the one time I have lots of room to browse and see what’s new and exciting.  I confess – I carry a little notebook in my purse to jot down the books I intend to request from the library.  Alas, if I were to buy every book read, there would be no room in either of my houses for anything else and my retirement would be even further off than it already is *sigh*.

This particular trip, I perused the marvelous section of bargain books, the remainders I believe they’re called.  I dithered a bit about getting one, but since I was coming to the end of the second book I had brought with me, I decided to pick up something in case I needed another read for the plane.   Here’s the one I chose – a perfect vacation read, I thought, about “six unique and vibrant individuals who come together to follow their dreams” at the annual Edinburgh International Festival.

51j2uwfK4XL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_ Here’s the thing, though.   Ever since I started reading, I’ve had this prickly sense of deja vu.  The odd thing is that only some of the sections seem familiar, as if I’d read them somewhere before, while others are perfectly fresh and new.

Now I’ve occasionally picked up a book that I’ve already read – I think every ravenous reader has done that at least once.   I  usually realize my blunder within about 10 pages, and after chastising myself properly, return the book to the library (or take it to my second hand bookstore if I’ve been foolish enough to purchase it!)

But this experience is a bit different, for it’s not as if the entire novel is familiar, but only bits and pieces.  At any rate, there seems to be enough new material to keep me interested – at least until I get home and have access to my TBR pile.

Now tell me, has this ever happened to you?


7 thoughts on “Vaguely Familiar

  1. I hope reading those familiar parts doesn’t just make you think how much more you enjoyed the previous read!

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  2. Hi there!

    You’re up next on my list of stops on my Virtual Walking Tour, if you’re still interested in playing along, can you please email me at

    rebeccajohnson46 {at}

    and answer the following questions. Thanks!!

    Explain the title of your blog

    How did you get into blogging?

    What do you like best about blogging?

    What are the five books you would most like to reccomend to anyone?

  3. Yes, Becca, this happens to me still! (and btw, is this Pilcher related to the one who wrote THE SHELL SEEKERS? If so, perhaps that “resonates” in the writing and your reading…if not, well, my theory is empty.)

    Anyway, yes, it made me laugh to hear you mention reading a book and not knowing it ’til the 10 page or so. Because I do it!!!! what is it that attracts me back to the same book to begin with? I must confess however that it sometimes takes longer than 10 pages. Here are two books that I’ve done it with, and actually, it’s odd that I even remember them; the first was a big seller; the second one I found on that good old remainder shelf at B&N: A GIRLS GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING (and it really didn’t bear reading twice – what’s up with that?) and BLUE VENUS about a professor who falls in love with a student and though it might have been comic in some ways, it was desperate finally. So why those two? I dunno.
    My short answer: YES! Iv’e done it. And so glad you mentioned it. Don’t you love the universal experiences that books allow us?
    Hope you’re enjoying Naples!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yes, Robin Pilcher is the son of the famous Rosamund…and their writing styles are similar. Now that I’ve read more, it’s not seeming familiar at all, and I’m quite enjoying it. Lots of good Scottish country life, etc. I’m wondering if I might have read a bit of it as one of those teasers they put in the back of the author’s books…you know, “To be published soon” kind of thing.

      Regarding book reruns…I once checked out a book from the library and when I got home with it found my name inscribed inside and realized I had donated it to a library sale, and I guess they chose to put it on the shelf instead!

  4. Nothing wrong with noting titles in a little notebook (or the cell phone picture, I like that!)

    This deja vu just happened to me. My neighborhood book group read Anita Shreve’s RESISTANCE. I didn’t think I had read it, but parts were very familiar, passages that struck me had a knowing echo to them. I have to say, I didn’t remember the entire book, and I couldn’t tell you the ending even when I was 2/3 thru it … I guess it wasn’t that memorable for me!

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