World record for memorizing text


Hello everyone,

This is my first post. I am currently trying to memorize some Shakespeare using the method of loci. It’s fun.

Are there any established world records on memorizing texts that you know off?

(Josh Cohen) #2

There used to be a poetry event at the WMSC events. The records are here:

There is still a poetry event at the USA Memory Championships:

I don’t know of other records, but maybe someone else here does.


Katherine He set the USA record last year for the Poetry event with a score of 335. You get one point for each correct word, capital letter, and punctuation mark. 15 minutes of memorizing, 30 minutes of replication. Words must be spelled correctly to be judged correct. And two errors in any given line score zero points for the line.


Memory competitons are cool, but I am more into learning long text or entire books by heart. Are there any such records or notable feats?


The techniques are the same as a memory competition, but you get a lot more time to build your images, so they can be as memorable as you need. You’ll have to review them quite often, though. You’ll find that memorizing an entire book by heart, though, is quite a task, and not nearly as helpful as you might think. Better is to summarize often and remember the key facts. Even actors memorizing a script don’t try to create images for every single word…they use images to remind them of the idea behind a certain line, then depend on repetition of review to nail down the exact words.


Thank you tracym!

The reason I want to learn a book bu heart is not for its usefulness. I realize that it’s much better to learn key concepts for study and exams. I just like to be able to recite that’s all.

(Josh Cohen) #7

There are people here who have memorized Dante’s Divine Comedy (also here), and Hamlet. There’s also a story about someone who memorized Paradise Lost.