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  • Writer's pictureAnderson Petergeorge

The Memory Book: The Classic Guide to Improving Your Memory - Harry Lorayne, Jerry Lucas


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.

Foreign and English Vocabulary

  • To remember foreign words picture them in outrageous English pictures.

    • French word: Pere meaning father

      • Picture a large giant pear being your father and taking care of you

    • French word: Canard meaning duck

      • Someone throws a can hard at you and you duck

    • Portuguese word: Nawsh - walnut

      • Picture a walnut being nauseous and feeling sick

      • You can also relate things to your personal life

    • Japanese word - ohio - good morning

      • The author was from Ohio so always remembered easily that Ohio his hope state that he's spent many mornings at is good morning in japanese

  • As far back as the1600s, children were taught language by means of pictures and picturing things in the mind.

Names and Faces

  • Most of us recognize faces but not names. Apply a system where the face tells the name

  • Use the substitute system and try and use the name to remind yourself of something tangible

  • Must remember the fact that most people don't really forget names. They just don't remember them in the first place often because they dont hear them. Most people are embarrassed to simply ask people to repeat the name again.

    • Always try and repeat the name back to the person when they say it.

    • Since a person's name is one of their most prized possessions, it is flattering to have them repeat it and show you are interested in them

  • Example for the name Barclay: Remember a piece of clay that is made into a bar and picture the person as a bar shaped

  • You can also picture other friends whose names you know well and substitute them for someone with the same name. "This person is an accountant just like my other friend john, therefore his name is also John"

  • Another trick is to look at a persons face and pick and outstanding feature and try and tie their name to that feature. Ex. "Heather" if they have big brown eyes can try and remember the colour Heather and connect the vivid colour of their eyes to the colour Heather.


  • The solution to the problem of absentmindedness is a simple and obvious; all you have to do is to be sure to think of what you're doing during the moment in which you're doing it. Build that original awareness.

  • "Picture/visualize yourself doing something to help remember" - If you are writing something and a phone rings and you place your pencil behind a book. Picture you placing it there so that when you finish the call you remember where you put the pencil vs spending time looking for it"

  • You can exaggerate this picture to remember even better. Picture the pencil piercing through the book like something out of Harry Potter and now you will for sure remember the pencil is behind the book

  • Placing your glasses on your bed? Picture your glasses massive sleeping in your bed all tucked in

  • If you brought an umbrella to your friends and you want to make sure you don't forget it. Associate it with something you guaranteed won't leave with like your shoes. Picture yourself wearing two umbrellas as shoes or mini umbrellas in your shoes. When you put on your shoes you'll then remember your umbrella.

  • Another trick is just placing the umbrella in your shoes so you know when you put your shoes on that its there

  • Someone said they forget when they put things in the oven and it always burns. In order to remember they have something cooking the put a frying pan on their TV screen or in the middle of the kitchen floor to remind them when they see it that something is in the oven. Build those cues to help you remember things.

  • "Out of place" things can help you remember

Long Digit Numbers

  • You can remember long digit numbers by turning them into sounds by alphabetizing them

  • 1=1 t or d. A typewritten small t has one downstroke

  • 2=2 n. A typewritten small n has two downstrokes

  • 3 = 3 m. A type written small m has three downstrokes

  • 4 = 4 r. The word four ends with an r

  • 5 = 5 l. The five fingers, thumb out, form an l

  • 6=6 j, sh, ch, soft g. A 6 and a cpaital j are almost mirror imagines

  • 7 = 7 k, hard c hard g, You can make a capital k with two 7s.

  • 8 = 8 f,v, ph, An 8 and a handwirren f look similar

  • 9 = 9 p or b A 9 and pa are mirror images

  • 0 = 0 z, s, soft c. The first sound in the word zero is z.

  • Vowels, a, e , i ,o ,u has no value and are disregarded and so are the letter w,h, y

    • Bomb = 93

    • Knee = 2

    • Below = 95

  • This is a good method to remember phone numbers

  • Two traps to avoid - transposing according to letter instead of sound and considering a double letter as two sounds instead of one. Pattern = 91242 not 91142


  • The peg allows people to remember the sequence of words by knowing the sounds of the phonetic alphabet. There are words associated with each number and therefore you can use substitution of words to think of visuals with those associated words

    1. Tie

    2. Noah

    3. Ma

    4. Rye

    5. Law

    6. Shoe

    7. Cow

    8. Ivey

    9. Bee

    10. Toes

  • To know the 9th person in line was Jacob. Think of a bee (9th place) living with lions as a Cub (Jacob). Now you know Jacob was 9th in line because of the bee association. You can do this for any number placement

  • Example 100 (disease) and the 100th item on the list was cheese. Think of a decaying cheese that spreads a disease to whoever smells it. Now you know cheese is the 100th item.

  • You can link remembering tasks by using the linking system too. Ex need to go pick up a suit and then drop a child at a swimming lesson and then pick up lined paper? Picture a suit jumping off a diving board into the pool and then a wet paper floating in the swimming pool


  • You can remember all the key thoughts of your speech or a reading by associated key words with each thought. You must first understand each thought and then link words in each thought together.

  • Ex bread and butter - the project should be as easy as making bread and butter

  • Now picture retail store and bread and butter filling the whole store.

  • The focus of this project is to bring customers back into the retail store. Now you can have this follow the bread and butter point given the link

  • Fortunately, we know the brain prefers to remember things that are:

    • Sensory (esp. linked to sight and sound);

    • Linked to things we already know; and

    • Trigger strong emotions.

  • The Link Method is powerful for two reasons.

  • First, it forces you to become aware of, observe, focus on and effortfully associate two things.

  • That’s vital because a main cause of forgetting isn’t forgetting, it’s not really trying to remember.

  • Second, the vivid, surprising and/or humorous image you created fulfils all three criteria for entry to memory – it’s sensory, familiar and emotional.

  • But The Link Method has two crucial weaknesses. It works well only for:

    • Things you can visualize; and

    • Things in a specific order.


  • The goal of substitution is to turn something abstract (something that can’t be visualized) into something concrete (something that can).

  • Doing so, lets us use concrete things as placeholders for abstract things in The Link Method – extending your new found abilities.

  • Country names are a good example of things that are abstract. To remember them alphabetically, use Substitution. For example:

    • Germany → “germ” + “knee” or a “stein of beer”;

    • Ghana → a “gunner”; and

    • Greece → a “can of grease” or an “olive tree”.

  • As you can see, substitution can be auditory (sounds like) or conceptual (reminds me of).

  • The only important conditions are that your substitution is concrete and reminds you of the original concept.

  • The techniques above will help you sneak information quickly into memory. But how do you keep it there?

  • The answer is Spaced Repetition – reviewing information at increasingly long intervals to make sure you don’t forget it.

  • In its most basic form, all you need to do is review any chains you want to keep 1 day after you’ve made them. If you remember the whole chain, review it again 3 days later, then a week later and so on, roughly doubling the time between reviews. If at any point you forget all or part of the chain, restrengthen it and start the process again from 1 day.

  • These days, digital Spaced Repetition Systems can help you schedule thousands of refreshes exactly when needed to maximize staying power.


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