How to “memorize” a book

There are few feelings I hate more than having read a book and not remembering anything about it. It’s usually a waste of time for all but the best of literature. Here is how to avoid this; by learning one key skill and spending a bit of time taking notes after you’ve finished a book, you can remember the most important parts of what you read and in effect “memorize” books.

The 5 steps

  1. Learn the method of loci and make a few practice memory palaces: If you look on Google or YouTube for “memory palace” there are countless tutorials; spend an hour learning this skill.
Example notes from Imagine by Joshua Lehrer. Writing notes by hand is a great way to focus on the images you’d like to remember. The ordered list are the items I want to remember, the sketches the images (poorly drawn) and the “floor plans” the memory palaces.

Extra points: For long-term recall, use a spreadsheet to consolidate the images and locations you used. You can then revisit this periodically as long as you care to remember the book.

Example portion of memory palace for Maria Konnikova’s MasterMmnd

Good luck and enjoy memorizing!

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San Francisco | @gasca on Twitter

San Francisco | @gasca on Twitter