This is only a short piece to allow me to develop some ideas regarding the essay on memorising a book that will be online very soon.

This post itself is not a fine example of edited and revised writing. It should be a nicely laid out, well written piece of work, however as usual I am shooting from the hip, and talking about what I’m thinking right this minute. At a later stage I may delete this post and have edited a proper version. Comments are welcome, just be aware I’ve only just memorised the 50 writing tools I mention elsewhere, and have to practice each one over time. The metaphor drawn below I hope will be of use to a few people. This work precedes the eventual posting of the more complete memory palace article.

Firstly I’ve had it mentioned memorising is not understanding. Secondly a few have said what is the point?

So for the sake of completeness I’ll cover these questions.

In order to apply the keywords system to a book and then memorise those in a memory palace, you have to have processed the information sufficiently to build relevant keywords. This processing alone is a major way to learn and understand new information.
The point of memorising a book, will vary from subject to subject and person to person. Some books don’t need memorising at all, just referring to; others are so boring that you will fall asleep in trying. My article applies only to those books you wish to actually memorise all or part of.

Preparing the ground for new knowledge and understand can be compared to gardening. You decide to plant some vegetables and flowers. You dig up the soil, break it up, add fertiliser and rake it over. You then plant your seeds or cuttings. You water them and generally look after them. With new knowledge you may apply a similar plan.

Firstly, skimming through a book or multiple books on a subject could be likened to digging up the soil. Checking out main areas within the subject, getting an overview and a general idea of where you will be going-again is preparation.

The raking of the ground, could be your first mindmap of the subject. Your first list of major keywords (subject headings, main titles, key areas). Placing these in major locations in a new memory palace could be seen as raking the ground, of your memory. A scaffolding image does occur to me, but for now I will stick with gardening.

Building keywords and phrases section by section could be seen as preparing the soil with fertiliser. Digging into the details of what each keyphrase represents could be seen as planting the seeds.

Finally, to water and take care of your plants, the habits of rehearsing the memory palace you’ve created, testing yourself and making inquiries of the knowledge will allow it to grow and make strong connections with prior knowledge.

This is something I’ve found for myself when I realised hypnosis, comedy, speech writing, writing and music all have patterns that you can relate to each other.

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