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Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older: How Memory Shapes Our Past
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Why Life Speeds Up as You Get Older: How Memory Shapes Our Past

(Canto Classics)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  295 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Is it true, as the novelist Cees Nooteboom once wrote, that memory is like a dog that lies down where it pleases? Where do the long, lazy summers of our childhood go? Why, as we grow older, does time seem to condense, speed up and elude us, while in old age, significant events from our distant past can seem as vivid and real as what happened yesterday? Douwe Draaisma, auth ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Cambridge University Press (first published 2001)
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Dimitris Hall
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
"You'll come away with hopefully more questions that you had at the beginning". It says something along these lines on the back cover on "Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past". I didn't come away with more questions. In fact, I didn't even get an answer for the title of the book! It's structure and content is such that it doesn't analyse the problems at hand in depth or in a way that led to some visible conclusion (I'm one of the people that accepts the conclusion of n ...more
Ronald van Duivenboden
Interessant boek. De titel is een van de onderwerpen die aan de orde komen en dekt daarmee niet helemaal de lading. Het gaat over het geheugen hoe dat werkt of ons juist in de steek laat. De auteur heeft tal van voorbeelden in de teksten verwerkt waardoor het boek blijft boeien. Ik heb er veel van opgestoken!
Tim Pendry
Jun 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: General Interest Readers
Shelves: psychology
Really a series of connected but discrete essays opening up a relatively new area for psychology - autobiographical memory. This book should be of great value to creative writers and Draaisma (an academic) is not afraid to go beyond science into literature to try and demonstrate a point. Well worth reading if you are interested in how you see the world yourself and why you might do so. A start in respecting subjectivity that one hopes others, with equal communications skills, will develop.

totally appreciated this book that takes case studies and applies scientific findings to memory both reliable and unreliable. a must-read-again book. well done.
Funda Guzer
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
İtinayla çalışılmış bir o kadar çevirisi sürükleyici yaşam ve yaşanmışlıklar üzerine etkileyici .
Bardzo ciekawe połączenie eseju z pracą popularno-naukową - taką kombinację cenię - nie same suche fakty ale również refleksja z perspektywy humanistycznej (trochę górnolotnie zabrzmiało, sorry). Książka przesiąknięta jest nostalgią, czyta się ją spokojnie, z jakąś pogodą ducha. Czytałam ja kilka lat temu a do dziś pamiętam tę atmosferę i jedno ze spostrzeżeń, które ułatwia mi godzenie się z faktem, że czas płynie szybciej, gdy się starzejemy: im starsi jesteśmy tym mniej w życiu 'pierwszych raz ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, divers, luisterboek
Boeiende verhandeling over geheugen en tijd. Zeer toegankelijk geschreven, in historisch perspectief, gelardeerd en onderbouwd met vele onderzoeken vanaf tweede helft 19e eeuw tot ongeveer nu, steeds verhalend verteld en als altijd zeer goed en boeiend voorgelezen door Jan Meng.
Ik kan het niet helemaal reproduceren 😉, maar heb er van genoten!
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Detaylı araştırma ve güzel çeviri için 5 yıldız ama kitap sadece adındaki soruya cevap aramiyor hatta sayfalar boyunca insana hayat neden çabuk geçiyormuş ya dedirtiyor. Öyle bir anda elimize verilen bir formül yok hayat yaslaninca neden çabuk gecer diye ama kitabı okuyup bitirince neden çabuk gectigini anlıyor ve zamanı yavaslatabilmek için ne yapmamız gerektiğini öğreniyoruz. Ben kitabı çok etkileyici buldum belleğimizin nasıl çalıştığı detaylı araştırmalar ve yalin bir dille ortaya konmuş. Am ...more
Aug 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Der Titel ist sehr irreführend. 90% des Buches handeln vom Gedächtnis allgemein, wie es bei Hochbegabten funktioniert oder auch bei Autisten. Hat mich aber nicht interessiert. Ich wollte eine Antwort auf die Frage. Leider schweifen die Erklärungen so dermaßen ab, dass man nicht bei der Stange bleiben kann.
Sehr schade. Ich habe mir mehr von dem Buch versprochen.
Vaiva Rykštaitė
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ive read it almost ten years ago, and to this day it keeps reminding me of how I perceive time. It completely changed my attitude towards time. I disagree with the saying “time is flying” - if it starts to fly, this means I’m doing something boring and got stuck in the routine. I highly recommend this book for everyone!
Betül Bozkurt
Douwe Draaisma’nın sırf kaynakçası için bile saygıyı hak edebilecek kitabı. İçinde bellek ve zihinle ilgili oldukça ilginç bilgiler bulunuyor. Kitabın su gibi akıp gittiğini söyleyemem; dili biraz akademik. Ama bu tarz kitaplar okumak isteyenler için tavsiye edilir.
Saskia Tralala
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Good example of a well written popular science book filled with interesting cases.
Elizabeth Gabhart
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Beautiful book about how memory defines us.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Başlıktaki sorunun cevabı kitapta yok (aslında hemen hemen hiç cevap yok), bölümler hafızayla ilgili rastgele konulardan oluşmuş/bütünlük yok, gereksiz uzun.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Los zand.
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Translated from Dutch, this engaging book offers both more and less than the title suggests. It presents theories but in my mind does not definitively solve the riddle of why life seems to speed up as we get older. However, it also covers other subjects; each chapter discusses a different topic on the general subject of autobiographical memory, for example, the phenomenon of one's life flashing before one's eyes during an accidental near brush with death; the "reminiscence effect" familiar to mo ...more
Douwe Draaisma is a Dutch psychologist who has spent much of his career studying human memory, namely autobiographical memory, our recall of our personal experiences. In this book first published in Dutch in 2001, with an English translation 2004, he looks at various quirks of memory. There are chapters dedicated to such phenomena as deja vu, unusual powers of recall in certain autistic savants, our lives passing before our eyes under stress, and of course the question in the book's title. The c ...more
Mila Vrab
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very very ! interesting :)
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I will say that this book is more a collection of academic articles into a book, demarcated into chapters, than an actual single narrative structure. Each chapter has end footnotes too, continuing the academic theme. I say that because academic article structure in book form may not be for everyone but it worked for me here.

Since the book's particular subject of memory and aging has really been of interest to me over the past 3 or 4 years, I found it fitting that I finished this book on the eve
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Draaisma covers the board in writing this book. He leans toward scientific research and history of past centuries more than current thought. I came away with the feeling that he was merely recounting history - not believing it. He gives a theory on why we remember what we do even though it is as old as the hills.

He quotes Jean-Marie Guyau (1854-88) "If you want to lengthen the perspective of time, then fill it, with a thousand new things. Go on an exciting journey, rejuvenate yourself by breath
Paul Maullin
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Found this somewhat disappointing. Seemed very promising at the start but each chapter delivers less than it promises from the title. For instance, there is a long chapter on the memoirs of a 19th century headmaster, but most of the chapter is devoted to summarising the memoirs and not much more than a paragraph analysing the significance of this material. It comes across as a collection of examples of how memory works but little more.
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really interesting inquiry on memory written in a casual tone which encourages the reader to keep on reading, but doesn't lack the academic background either. Point of criticism: the author tries to include almost all memory related topics but still leaves out some that would have been interesting to read about, like dream memory or repressed memories. Still a great book with a lot of "aha-effects" and easy identification. Recommendable for absolutely everyone with a memory :)
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Highly readable and extremely interesting non-fiction about the way our memory works and the special perks of our brain. It covers peculiar observations on deja-vu's, why witness statements may be unreliable and how it can be frustrating for people who are able to remember everything. Definitely worth the read.
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In dutch
Sandra Kinahan
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Dennis Arends
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Kailee Price
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Dec 11, 2014
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Mar 03, 2020
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Douwe Draaisma is professor of the history of psychology at the University of Groningen and author of several best-selling books on topics relating to memory.

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