We forget that we forget

Mickey Mellen
2 min readJun 14, 2024

I do a lot of things to try to remember the things that I read and watch. Using a book as an example, I might write some blog posts about it, maybe share it on a podcast, and see quotes in my Readwise reviews. Even then, if I reread the book a few years later, tons of it will feel like brand new information.

This idea was brought up to me again (because I forgot that I forgot about it) in a recent episode of the Founders podcast. The episode was focused on Steve Jobs (and it was excellent; listen here), where the host David Senra shared this thought:

“Go back and reread the books that you’ve read before years ago and it’s amazing.”

This is even more astounding coming from someone like David, who studies books far deeper than I do. The fact that someone with his study process can go back and learn more from books in the future means that all of us can.

The problem is in the first “forget” in the statement he shared. When I think of a book, I feel like I remember it pretty well! I have my quotes, I’ve talked to folks, and I get it. The problem is that I don’t know what I’m forgetting, because I forgot about those sections.

It’s like I talked about a few weeks ago with “ Repeat versus fresh content “ and my constant tweaking to find the right balance. I always want to consume new content, but there is a lot of gold in the stuff that I’ve read in the past — even if I’ve forgotten about it.

Originally published at https://www.mickmel.com on June 14, 2024.



Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.