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The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory at Work, at School, and at Play Paperback – August 27, 1996


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher


While we were working on the covers of the repackaged mass market edition, I was intrigued
to see that one of the authors was an ex-New York Knick from one of the great championship
teams of my youth. I read Jerry Lucas's introduction with some curiosity and was hooked
immediately. I, too, had spent a great deal of my childhood inventing alphabetical and
numerical games. (As a result, I can still recite the phone numbers of a dozen or so elementary-school friends from thirty years ago!) I realized that I still used some of these tricks, but that there were even more ways I could use letters, numbers, and symbols to retain information. The techniques are interesting and ultimately fun. Oh, and let's not forget helpful.

Laurie Kahn, Associate Managing Editor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

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 speed--and greater understanding; shine in the classroom--and shorten study hours; dominate social situations, and more.


From the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (August 27, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345410025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345410023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I read this book in it's original cover almost 10 years ago.
Christopher (cacanton@aol.com)
In the book, Lorayne describes in detail several memory techniques that, with a little practice, will have you remembering virtually anything you want.
David Dathe
As with every other memory book, the techniques take time to learn and take considerable effort, but work very well.
Travis Cottreau

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

511 of 518 people found the following review helpful By Travis Cottreau on August 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book has all the memory techniques that are typically taught in memory courses and other memory books. Even if they are sometimes introduced by other names, all of the techniques are variants and combinations of word-substitution (mostly used for foreign words, but also people's names and words that can't easily be pictured), link, peg, loci (sometimes called Roman Room technique) and phonetic (letter for number substitution) systems. The book is mostly re-hashed information that has been presented earlier (even by Lorayne himself), but the writing style makes it a book worth keeping.
The real strength of this book over others of its kind is the dialog between Lucas and Lorayne. They are fun to read and almost never get boring. There are anecdotes to at the beginning of most chapters and spread throughout the book.
Personally, I found Kenneth Higbee's "Your Memory" a better book, it's more complete a reference and gives much more of the why of memory rather than just the how of remembering. Depending on your needs, you might like this book more, it's got more examples on how to use the systems it introduces and is much lighter and a little less dry, although Higbee's book is very readable.
As with every other memory book, the techniques take time to learn and take considerable effort, but work very well. For a book on memory techniques, this book doesn't dissapoint.
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273 of 282 people found the following review helpful By David Dathe on May 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Harry Lorayne, a master magician and card entertainer, is also one of the world's leading memory experts. "The Memory Book" will change your life, literally. In the book, Lorayne describes in detail several memory techniques that, with a little practice, will have you remembering virtually anything you want. Among the techniques, the three I use the most are the Link, Substitute Words, and the Peg. The Link is used to remember any number of items, such as 20 objects, etc. The Peg is used to remember any number of objects in order. Using a phonetic type alphabet for numbers, that is, assigning a consonant sound for each number, Lorayne shows how to memorize numbers easily. The techniques really do work. Frankly, I've never spent so little for something that has changed my life so much. One testimonial is in order: I am a professional teacher. The first day of class I use one of Lorayne's techniques in my class that allows everyone in the classroom, including me, to remember the name of everyone else in the classroom. And it takes less than 20 minutes. The systems work. The only minor quibble I have with the book is that after reading this book, I also read widely in the area of memory improvement. Other books have used the identical techniques to improve memory, so I'm confused as to how much of Lorayne's techniques originated with him, or were borrowed from the literature. This minor point aside, you really do need to have this book on your "READ" list. A real treasure.
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133 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Scrutinizing Consumer VINE VOICE on December 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading "The Memory Book", I can have a group of people give me random words, one at a time, and memorize them... in the order in which they were given. Then, given a number, I can quickly recall the corresponding word. Or, alternately, given a word I can recall the corresponding number. It takes a few seconds for me to engrain each word, but I can easily do this with 20 words. I'm confident I could recall over 95 out of a 100 if I ever had a reason to try.

I have always considered my memory to be rather poor. But after using the VERY SIMPLE techniques in this book, I am capable of memorizing things many people would deem near impossible, with minimal effort. The first exercise listed ten words: Airplane, tree, envelope, earring, bucket, sing, basketball, salami, nose, and star. Then provided a child-like way to not only remember all ten words but also in the sequence in which they were presented. Some might, at first glance, think that's simple, but try it without a method! I had them memorized in about fifteen minutes and now they seem to be permanently etched in my brain; that was over a week ago and I just wrote them in this review from memory! The next exercise was a list of thirty words, most of which were complex and I had never seen before. That might impress some people, but these methods have real practical applications.

Memorizing names with faces, speeches, numbers (phone, credit card, a 50-digit number if you so desire) are what's taught in the first half alone. The use of "pegging" is central to the memorization methods taught in this book. Every number from 0 through 9 has a phonetic sound(s) associated with it. By mastering the basics, one can quickly figure out how to memorize a list of 100 words/names if he really wants to.
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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
My title sums up my comments, I found the book well written, the memory techniques presented were good ones. I want to warn readers to be prepared to work hard before these memory techniques pay off for you. I feel that some of the comments and the book description make it sound as if this book is a magical formula for great memory -- it's just not.
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Maureen A. Blake on November 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book definately requires work. It is a "How To" guide which will only be effective if the reader is committed to putting in the work of practicing the techniques explained. I think one of the most interesting aspects of this is that good memory, like many other things, can be a LEARNED skill.
I found this book after searching specifically for a helpful one to improve my poor memory. In particular, I went from being a very good law student who was a capable researcher and writer and preformed well on essay exams in school, and even won a competitive moot court competition based on advocacy skills, to a JD who failed the BAR Exam multiple times due to an inability to remember details and jargon. After time with every legal study aid possible, I turned to resources to improve my memory. While I unfortunately can't yet say I have passed the BAR exam, I can say that I have noticed a significant improvement in my relationship with my husband and others as I have become more attentinve to remembering details and with the techniques in this book thus have become a more dependable person. In the past when he or anyone else asked me to do things, though I was well intentioned and sincere in my "Yes", I had a serious problem with follow up due to inattentiveness and poor memory skills. This book was most helpful as an aid to overcoming those limitations and assisited me in becoming a more responsible and less absentminded irritating person to be around.
As a serious, logical, pragmatic person, this book was helpful in specificallly giving me the prompt to think of silly associations with the specific intent of remembering items. That would be something I wouldn't have ever NATURALLY done on my own!
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