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The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play
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The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,939 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Unleash the hidden power of your mind through Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas's simple, fail-safe memory system, and you can become more effective, more imaginative, and more powerful, at work, at school, in sports and play. Discover how easy it is to: file phone numbers, data, figures, and appointments right in your head; learn foreign words and phrases with ease; read with ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published 1974)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,939 ratings  ·  125 reviews


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Penny
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jackie and Chris
Recommended to Penny by: I don't recall.
I am giving this book a very high rating because I think I read it but I can't remember but I'm guessing that it was very, very good. Books like this tend to be good (or at least good for you). I do not remember where I put it but it is here somewhere. I could not recall the name of the book but remembered the ISBN so it was easy to search on that.
I do recall that my children and husband gave it to me for some special event (birthday, Christmas, Saturday, or something.) I also know that co-autho
...more
Brian
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: r_non-fiction
This book will teach you how to memorize and retain just about anything quickly and easily. The techniques take work to learn and practice, but once you have them down it is amazing the things you can do.

I used the methods in this book to memorize thousands of Chinese vocabulary words. I have also begun using the numbers techniques, and can remember any number that I decide to memorize. Right now I am working on the methods for retaining what I read. I'm not great at it yet, but my retention is
...more
N.N. Light
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anyone looking to improve their memory will be astounded by this book. You don't have to take drugs! Changed my perspective and incorporated its teachings into my everyday life. A must read!

My Rating: 5+ stars

Reviewed by: Mrs. N
David Grimaud
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I can't remember what it's about.
Eryk Banatt
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
It almost feels unfair to give this book 4 stars instead of 5, since it's probably one of the most useful books I've ever read and easily the book I've most often gifted to others. But I hope the reason will become clear in this review.

This is a basic primer to the easier techniques in mnemonics, and will allow you to learn a great deal about how to memorize large quantities of information, pretty much about any topic, with a little bit of creativity. The techniques they cover are the Link, Subs
...more
Nishant Nikhil
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is about three systems:
1. Link system
2. Substitute system
3. Peg system

Link system tells you to link all the things you want to remember using a weird relation. (Not all of them at once, but as a linked list). And this works!
Example if you want to remember, mouse, aeroplane, chair. Visualize a mouse flying over an aeroplane. And a chair dropping out of aeroplane. As you are forcing your mind to think more about the relations, it memorized the relations. (You are being more mindful here
...more
Hollie
Jul 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
There are some people out there with great memories and excellent interpersonal skills. We've all probably met someone like this.... They seem to remember your name, your face, and little details about your life and past conversations way more than the average person. And we all LOVE being around these people. They make us feel important and valued, because it could be a year since you've seen them (and you only met them once), and they will recall specific details about your life and ask about ...more
Tyler Suzuki Nelson
The Memory Book is a guide written by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas. Although it looks like a novel, the book is more like a textbook in that to really get the most out of it, one has to do the suggested activities while reading the book. The point of this book is, if not already evident, to help improve one's memory.

I don't have much to say about this book. I do like the idea behind the book, and I think the method can be quite powerful for memorizing things. However, I found most of the book t
...more
Justin
Aug 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Justin by: Brian
This book is logical, honest, and practical.

Logical
Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas explain why memory techniques work and how they simply build on the way our minds already work.

Honest
From the very beginning readers are told memory systems take work, but they are possible and within everyone's reach. Like all good things, it takes effort.

Practical
The memory systems described in this book can be applied to remembering to-do lists, dates, names, places, events, phone numbers, etc. Who wouldn't
...more
William Lewis
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first twelve years of school I found to be impossibly difficult. I got C’s on my report card. The only A’s I got were in physical education and Choir. Everyone who took those classes always got A’s automatically it was a guarantee. I got C’s in my other classes. I tried so very hard to get a B but the test answers just would not stay in my head for the tests. I would forget what I had studied even after studying for many hours. Therefore, I logically assumed I was just not smart.
None of my r
...more
Nisarg Shah
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mind
Finally, a memory book that has actionable content. I could put some of the ideas to use immediately, and they have plenty of examples to show that the fundamental ideas can be applied at different scenarios.

The book is old. The last few chapters were about remembering things like phone numbers and locations of places on the map, which unfortunately I skimmed over because I don't ever see myself using them. This shouldn't dissuade anyone from picking up the ideas in the book.

Note that delibera
...more
Fred Hughes
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A great read. Some very helpful suggestions as to how to memorize various things. As with anything we doi the more effort you put into it the more successful you will be.

Recommended
adam aero
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Focus on what you want to remember--if you want to remember. The best example is learning someone's name. Forget it right away? You're not being aware enough. When meeting new people, rhetorically repeat, "What is their name? What is their name?" Have that be your main nagging thought.

Substitute words for similar words. Page 73 is list for last names.

Put things in the same place every time. To remember to do or get something put something in your path or awkwardly out of place to spur original
...more
Andreas
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lifehack, memory
I re-discovered the book in the basement and couldn't remember a thing about it. Not a good sign for a book about improving your memory but it's never to late.

The most important methods presented here are

Word substitution

It's hard to remember words that don't make sense and it's better to come up with something that is easier to visualize. The authors give endless examples for that and I became jealous how easy it is for them. There is nothing that they can't simplify and I hope that it's just
...more
Arun Mahendrakar
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Turns out that when an atom of Cesium is bombarded with energy is starts vibrating / ticking and every such 9129631770 ticks counts as a second. Hence the name atomic clock. Now in order to remember that number I just go: button push meets cow cozy (actually thinking of a button with push written on it talking to a happy cow). Absolutely brilliant.

This was my first memory improvement book and I loved the techniques mentioned in here. Although extremely impressed, I know I have to keep working on
...more
Corley
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
I couldn't finish this book.

The information is helpful, but by the fifth chapter, it gets extremely repetitive. It was like pulling teeth for me to actually sit down and read a page or two. Once you understand their main tricks to memorizing, you can basically apply them to any area of your life. I'd like to use them more often, but it does take some practice and time to form these habits.
Amna
Feb 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: students from all ages
there is a Simple techniques you can learn from this book that will help you to memorize alots of things
Roger
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book could have been a tenth of it's size. I didn't teach me much more than Joshua Foer's Moonwalking With Einstein and was much less engaging. Did learn a trick or two though, so two stars.
Austin
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memory, life-hacks
Simply put: It works well, but requires putting much additional energy into creating memory sequences that I feel are not practical for the person looking for general memorization tricks
Joanne G.
I'm only giving three stars because I read this back in the '70s, and, ironically, I don't remember any of it.
Fritz
Sep 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crap
The way it's written is quite old fashioned, long winded, and utterly boring. I couldn't finish it.
Renaldo Horn
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Good book. Does not go into memory palaces but has lots of good info. Also has lots of fluff.
Galicius
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
The first chapters of another self-help book on mnemonics that seem to appear regularly have nothing new. A more recent one I read Moonwalking with Einstein: the Art and Science of Remembering Everything (2012) was probably more thorough as an overview of what goes on in this arena. Who needs to memorize the fifty states in alphabetical order from A to W and backwards? It’s enough to know their geographical location in your mind’s eye. I did not care to go through this exercise to practice build ...more
Nex Juice
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book really surpassed my expectations. I've previously read Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley - and although this book is older, it seems to have EVEN MORE practical memory tools and tricks. I did a live stream inspired by the chapter on memorizing long digit numbers, you can watch that here: https://youtu.be/gcqJX_xkiVA

To be honest, I need to read this again in the new year, because my brain wasn't able to absorb all the information that came AFTER that chapter - so I need to learn more ab
...more
Alice Cerconi
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-growth
I was looking for something different. This is an effective book if you'd like to learn about memorization techniques, but not necessarily about how i.e. to read better in order to retain more information. I was pleasantly surprised though to find out that memorization is an exercise of creativity, imagination, and humor. It's not a book to read casually, but to practice intensely, that if you want to reap the benefits (I didn't). I think that you really have to be interested in the topic in ord ...more
Bogdan Tudose
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read several books on memorization techniques and other more broad books about the brain, memory and how it works. This is probably the most practical one I've come across so far. Very easy to read, covers a lot of different techniques and has many examples for each technique. You won't become an expert overnight, you still have to practice the different methods in the book, but this is by far the most comprehensive book I've come across. It will cover the basics such as memory palace, peg ...more
Roman Gayevsky
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The way cheaper alternative to all those meddling and costly training programs of Jim Kwik and the like :) Suggested methods really work if you practice well, some – even quite fast and with little efforts. The thing is that with emerging technologies people no longer care about training their memory. Each and every remembering process gets easily replaced by combination of hard- and software, in the same time putting our mind’s abilities in certain limits and even reducing these abilities (e.g. ...more
Leinades Cheb
Jan 09, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018
What I loved most about this book, is that it provides almost instant value. Just read the first three chapters, and bam, the ideas and techniques are simple and universal enough so you can apply them to remembering anything, from shopping lists to dates without reading further.

You can keep on reading, and there are some good tips and tools provided in the rest of the book but it is entirely up to you.
Matt Pelto
A helpful guide to memory techniques. Any reader will benefit from the methods taught, which can be applied to anything from remembering addresses and phone numbers to memorizing business information to preforming memory based card tricks. The reader will receive as much as he puts into the methods in this book. While the examples can become overly expansive, they demonstrate the usefulness of the systems.
Alex Laser
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worth the read if you're willing to stop and practice their silly exercises seriously like a school workbook. Too many mnemonists uses the loci method which is effective but too slow and impractical for daily life. These guys make a case for linking and peg systems instead. This was actually helpful and I plan to return to the book and keep practicing their suggestions. A necessary book to combat the brain rot caused by outsourcing our memory to smartphones and computers.
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Harry Lorayne is an American magician and a memory-training specialist and writer who was called "The Yoda of Memory Training" by Time magazine. He is well known for his mnemonic demonstrations and has appeared on numerous television shows including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. His book The Memory Book was a New York Times bestseller. His card magic, especially his innovations in card ...more

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There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
42 likes · 15 comments
“Making the pictures ridiculous is what enables you to really see them; a logical picture is usually too vague.” 1 likes
“you would like to remember names and faces, there are three steps involved; the first step takes care of the name, the second takes care of the face, and the third locks the two of them together. What you have to do is associate the name to the face in some ridiculous way.” 0 likes
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