This was inspired by my rediscovery of Elizabeth Enright's Gone-Away Lake books.
Do you find that sometimes you remember a book as being better than it turns out to be when you re-read it after a long period of time?
I'm sure that I've discovered that in the past, but I can't remember any firm examples where memory and anticipation combined have painted a book as being better than it turned out on reading. Both recent times it has not been the case.
So far the two books I've rediscovered through the LibraryThing Name That Book group have turned out to be as good as I remembered, if not better. It actually surprised me a bit as one of the books was a children's book. Often reading those as an adult, I find it hard to get into the story as I did when I was the book's target age.
On the other hand, I don't know how many times I've bought a book I'd never read before thinking "this is going to be great" and been disappointed. Sometimes even from authors I've loved many times before with their other books. I'm reading one of those now actually, although it's not an author I've read before.
I don't know though, if it's that the anticipation of a good read has built the book up beyond where it actually is, or if I was simply looking forward to something the book is not. In the cases where the book was something I'd read a long time previously, I start to wonder if I'd misremembered the story. It doesn't always happen though. Most of the time a book I've been looking forward to turns out to be as good as I'd expected/hoped, if not better.