I’d tried to read the novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ twice before giving up. After a 100 or so pages the plot and characters became hazy.
I’m trying again. I noticed that there frequently appeared words I was only vaguely familiar with. Phrases that were popular in the 1800s but unfamiliar today. Google Dictionary has been a great aid. The constant back and forth between novel and dictionary is a slow process.
Recollection was also a problem. There’d be gaps between reading where I’d forget some of the fringe characters and some important aspects of main ones. I started working on a project to help jog my memory when starting cold again – charting the characters in a novel and the relationships between them by the page they were introduced. In seconds I can move between pages and mentally put together enough of the story to continue reading.
The project is https://peopleby.page. It’s free, open source and book contributions are most welcome.