Book Review: Memory – How to Develop, Train and Use it

This book is not just another guide book that teaches you tricks to remember things, this book is different in terms of explaining why and how our memory works. It explains how we remember what we remember and also it teaches tricks to exploit them in enhancing our memories. But, to be real, this book goes over very few ideas that keeps on repeating in many chapters of this book. To be honest, this book doesn’t expose any new ideas, but it explains those ideas with a different point of view.

There are total of 20 Chapters in this book, in which:

ChaptersContent outline
1, 2Importance of memory and some motivation for its development
3Examples of people with miraclous memory power
4Explains some of existing memory systems or “Tricks”
5Explains how our sub-concious mind is associated with memory and how it stores, strengthens it
6Explains Importance of attention in impression of things on our minds and how it is important for making a good and long lasting memory
7Explains how new memory can be stored efficiently and strenghtened via concept of Association. It also gives insight on how we naturally make memories via Association
8Explains two phases of memory
(1) Sense & Impressions (2) Memory of Ideas
and also explains how using multiple senses can help strengthen a memory more
9, 10Teaches how to use the senses of sight and sound to effectively impress a memory on sub-concious mind
11 – 19Teaches on how to better impress memory in certain subjects such as names, places, etc by using the previously explained concepts. Each chapter also gives an example of a person having developed a great memory from a poor one, using the same principles.
20Lists out all the main concepts that are taught in the book. This chapter is really a complete summary of the whole book.

The main concepts in the book

There are some concepts upon whose principles the majority of content of the book is developed. These concepts are most important in building a memory and are somehow complete take-away of the book. The following concepts are sequential in developing a memory.

  1. Interest:
    One must take/have an interest in the thing that he/she may want to remember. It is true for things we find interesting, that we remember it most in most of the cases.
  2. Attention:
    One must give it a complete attention when impressing it on the memory. If we have an interest, we automatically pay attention to that thing.
  3. Practise:
    Practise giving it attention along with some special principles to remember it. Such as using multiple senses to impress it in more ways into our memories, or by using law of association to associate it with something similar, or by using some system like ‘Mental Cabinet’. So practise developing the process of giving attention with smart principles.
  4. Review:
    Recall it from time to time, to keep the memory fresh and to make it stronger.

Some of my highlights

The extent of memory depends, first, on the daily use we make of it; secondly, upon the attention with which we consider the objects we would impress upon it; and, thirdly, the order in which we range our ideas

Page 10

One’s entire education depends for its efficiency upon this law of association

Page 12

The habit of “noticing things”, which is the first requisite for memory development.

Page 25

First rule for cultivation of accurate perception is: Do not try to percieve the whole of a complex

Page 43

Desire awakens interest; interest employs attention; and attention brings use, development and memory

Page 92