Hey BigShot, this will be quite a bit to read, but I hope you will find my response useful.
Thanks for clarifying your goals in regard to your question so that I can more aptly answer your questions. I would suggest following the advice in my last post if you do want to improve your speed at memorizing scholastically because the advice I gave you in that post was universal in regards to improving memory. Now I will address the new information since my last post:
1.) If your reading speed used to be significantly higher and you are not simply attempting to create mnemonic/image for every primary word in the sentence then I would suggest daily practice 15-30 minutes of speed reading. If you are attempting to create mnemonics while you are reading then you have found your problem!
If that is not the issue then speed reading practice is useful as a method to get over the yips(meaning loss or degradation of a skill - e.g. reading speed). However, speed reading, as pointed out by @RMBittner is simply not valid for reading scholastically without half a decade, or more, of practice honing a multitude of skills.
2.) This link will take you to a post regarding verbatim memorization but it also contains links and advice for general memorization. Bateman succinctly goes over the primary methods of book memorization here and there are many other links to go through. Don’t forget to check out Gavino’s Massive Memory system! It’s practically a requirement for book memorization!
3.) Below is my method for memorizing a book for scholastic purposes.
a. Skim the index/glossary
b. Skim the information looking primarily at headers, sub-headers, diagrams, pictures, or anything else that stands out.
c. Read one header/concept at a time as quickly as you can without forgetting what the information was about when you finish. I normally choose headers as the point where I break and review what I just read. Some people review after every paragraph, page, or even entire chapters. (Side note: Break at least once every 30 minutes or so. 25 minutes reading, 5 minutes reviewing, and 5 minute break so that your mind doesn’t get sluggish.
d. After you read a header/concept think about whether you would need this information practically and if so develop a mnemonic for it such as acronyms and imagery but just focus on keeping moving rather than perfecting the mnemonic.
- I normally use the Cornell note-taking method to quickly list and organize all information that I am reading and after a chapter is completed I go back and then develop my imagery
- When developing imagery I find it best to develop it around the concept rather than the chapter, headers, or sub-headers; even though they normally chunk the information nicely, the authors do not necessarily think as you do and attempting to remember the way they word something rather than what they are talking about is counter productive.
e. Then when you are done with a segment such as a page or a chapter simply go back and skim each page (or your notes on the chapter) to recall/build your mnemonics then place them in a palace using the loci method.
f. Walk through your palace and examine each loci to see what information is there both forwards and backwards. Do this 3 or 4 times to cement the images and their meanings in your mind and then imagine that someone whom looks up to you or someone whom you look up to and imagine that they don’t know any of the information about the subject in your palace. Walk through the palace with them and rather than describing the picture, teach them based on what the imagery represents without referring to your imagery. You do not know the information until you can explain the concept in simple terms; I like to implement metaphors for this purpose.
- I also suggest that if you have the yips from speed reading you should be proactive and have the mental image of the person you are showing around cheer, applaud, and compliment you as you teach. It will help build confidence in the subject matter and in yourself.
3.) You will need many palaces/journeys because you need to cycle through them in order to avoid “ghosting” where images get confused or mixed together. When I first started this method I overloaded my childhood home to the point where I couldn’t use it for months until my strongest impressions faded. You can reuse palaces but they must be given a break.
I suggest using Gavino’s memory palace method to create, embed, and organize memory palaces to cycle through.
I worked at a housekeeper at a resort and I turned one of the suites, which has 32 loci embedded in it, into an alphabetized nested memory palace. So my first location is the letter A and is depicted by Alistair holding an Apple riding an Alligator and if I step onto the doormat next to Alistair and take a bite of his Apple(which I can taste and feel) I am teleported to Applebees, which is a palace with 50 loci in it. When I fill Applebees up on the last location there will be an image of my key card to get into units and when I pick it up, it teleports me back to the mat in my nested palace next to Alistair with a bite missing from his apple and I proceed to location B and so on and so forth.
4.) Another option is to just compile a large list of palaces specific to the subject you are studying, usually it’s best to have a connection to it. I use several Subway sandwich shops that I know well for sign language because I worked at several locations and one day a boy came in to my primary store and he was deaf and it took me 30 minutes to make his sandwich because I couldn’t tell what he was pointing at, so it’s easy for me to relate sign language with Subway.
5.) I have never used the car method but I assume it’s virtually identical to the body method, which incidentally I also do not use, wherein you break it down into subcategories and then attach information to it. So if I was reading “The Art of Memory” with the body method I would simply add my images in order.
So if I started on my left hand index distal bone I would put an art easel with a painting of a thick marble column on it. When I look at my index fingertip I can feel a layer of dried paint and I *see *that’s bright red, and I think it’s blood until I look and see that it’s too thick. I peel off the layer of dried paint and my fingertip feels like it is made of marble and see that it’s made of marble. When I lift my hand I can feel the weight of this massive column pulling my fingertip and the rest of my hand down with it.
On the middle bone of my index finger is metal tray of food with a shiny rounded metal cover on it. I can smell chicken,asparagus, wine, and chocolate and when I open the lid a scorpion stabs the proximal bone and I can feel the poison circulating.
On the proximal bone of my index finger is a cluster of 5 canons loaded and ready to fire. Barrack Obama is holding a torch and he lights each of the 5 canons that shoot a projectile for each one. The first cannon launches Jimmy Newtron (invention), the second a color-coded organizational system(Disposition/organization), the third the pokemon Electrode (Elocution), the fourth a marble column, and the fifth fires a nun (Pronunciation). The heat from the blast interacts with each one a different way. The nun for example is set on fire, Electrode detonates on impact, Jimmy Newtron brain blasts and comes up with an invention to save his life.
Then I would proceed to my middle finger and on the distal bone would be 4 bright red Cardinals… ext, ext; and just like that you can memorize the entire story every chapter and main concept. When thinking about these things rather than cramming 5 cannons on my finger, for example, I simply have a tattoo of a cannon that links me to a fictitious empty field with 5 cannons and I can watch them shoot off
I don’t use the car method, so I can’t say much about it but I think your problems are from attempting to store an entire division of knowledge in a single major car component. I would take different vehicle types to store divisions in specific vehicle types. Cars, Trucks, Planes, Boats, and Motorcycles are all significantly different and can provide you with 5 divisions to store information that wouldn’t get confused.