By: Sasha Zborovsky, OverDrive Marketing Intern

National I Forgot Day was earlier this week, so naturally, OverDrive forgot to post a blog to commemorate this often-overlooked holiday.

The Holiday

National I Forgot Day celebrates all the times we forgot to wish our third cousin a Happy Birthday, missed a doctors appointment, or left our work laptop on the dining room table, as we rushed out the door into early morning traffic. This day is special because instead of meeting our forgetfulness with shame, we accept it. Their is a certain pride in losing one’s possessions because afterwards, one gets to find them. On a deeper level, this holiday is a chance to remember the good memories we usually forget and forget the bad memories we tend to remember.

With regard to reading, book nerds must use this holiday to embrace literary forgetfulness.

Literary Forgetfulness

According to an improvised combination of my personal invention and the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of literary forgetfulness involves the failure to remember anything concerning the writing, study, or content of literature.
Literary forgetfulness is a common affliction in summer. For example, I am currently “forgetting” to work on my summer reading assignment (don’t tell my history professor). We forget the name of that one book the woman from work recommended last Tuesday or the name of our supposed “favorite author.” How embarrassing. We read about characters who fall victim to amnesia, forget the way to their grandmother’s house, or just can’t seem to retain their memories for more than 24 hours. However, in its finest form, literary forgetfulness impacts the reader. In the company of a good book, we forget the awkward conversation we had with our boss that morning, and the interminable list of things we need to do by next Thursday. It’s a time to forget your own life and instead, observe a character forget theirs.

Entertainment of Forgetting

There’s something oddly entertaining about “forgetting.” We enjoy forgetful characters because they’re funny. We laugh when Samuel Beckett’s Vladimir and Estragon can’t remember where and when to meet Godot. Forgetful characters are also sad. After all, we cry when Nicholas Sparks describes an Alzheimer-afflicted Allie who cannot remember her husband Noah. Forgetful characters create an air of mystery for their readers, as both protagonist and audience search through a murky past for an ounce of clarity. Forgetting allows readers to explore philosophical aspects of memory and consciousness. So, it’s time to forget about the outside world and lose yourself in a book.

Here are a ten books about memory and forgetting to keep you company on the day AFTER National I Forgot Day!

The Housekeeper and the Professor

Waiting for Godot

What Alice Forgot

The Buried Giant

The Wasteland

Before I Go to Sleep

The English Patient

The Road

Hard Boiled Wonderland the End of the World

And the last book is…hmm…what was the…hmm.