Hello, I have been wanting to memorize some textbooks of mine, starting with my History textbook, using my memory palace / the method of loci. I am just not sure where to start. I don’t want to memorize it word for word, but mainly the key information. I am not sure how I would categorize it correctly either. Does anyone have any ideas?
Check out the FAQ page about memorizing books.
Also, personally, depending on whether you’re currently taking these classes and how the classes are formatted, I would pick between these options:
(1) Memorize facts, then read the book.
This is how I studied for my last year’s history class in college… I did it during the summer before the class started. First I listed and memorized facts (names and terms), then I read the book once or twice. The former set the dots, the latter connected the dots. It was a breeze.
(2) Throughout the course, memorize a few concepts at a time.
This is particularly good while you’re taking a class that involves discussion. You can memorize important things for each week’s discussion just one week in advance, and everyone will think you’re amazing (especially your teachers/professors, which is a really good asset in education!).
(3) Take in the whole textbook from a top-down perspective.
To do this, first get a general overview of the book and create a basic mind map. Then keep looking through the book, filling in details on the mind map as you go. Start memorizing facts and reading passages. Finally, read the whole book, giving every passage a place in your mind map (not necessarily in the order it is in your book; it’s your mind map that matters), modifying the structure of the mind map as necessary. Finally, memorize everything in the book, but using a series of memory palaces arranged to correspond with the structure of your mind map (e.g. three major topics: three major memory palaces). You’ll end up with something different from your book, but all the information will be there, and it will be there in a much more meaningful way than if you were simply to memorize the book.