Help me remember this book, please.
September 21, 2010 1:59 PM   Subscribe

[bookfilter] Help me remember this non fiction book I read as a teenager about "mind power" (if I remember correctly)

The only detail I remember is pretty specific but my googlefu is failing me. The book was about getting the most out of the brain, I think.

This is the bit I remember:

The author compared the long-term memory to a library, a poorly indexed, unorganized library full of musty old books that's relegated to the cellar of the brain. The little guy at the desk generally has nothing to do but kick back and read the paper. That is until he's asked retrieve a memory, then he'll throw the paper down and go searching for it in the stacks. This takes a while because, as mentioned before, the memory is a huge, unorganized mess and the poor guy only has a vague clue as to where it might be. But if the request is made over and over again (what was that guy's name?), he has to return to hear the request so it's better to ask the question once and let him do his work. This guy also isn't very bright, so he's not going to always return with the right memory and may have make several trips... This is why some people will wake up at two in the morning with their "aha!" moment.

I don't know why I remember that little bit so well, but it's always stuck with me. Anyway, I want to use the analogy in a paper but I can't find the book again to cite it. Does anyone else know the book I'm talking about? Since I read it as a teenager, this would have been published in or before the '80s
posted by patheral to Writing & Language (5 answers total)
this sounds vaguely like it might have been from Dianetics (related to Scientology, by the way).
posted by radiosilents at 2:03 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Dianetics? Heh--he said non-fiction. Actually, it sounds to me like Alan Baddeley's Your Memory: A User's Guide, which was written in a chatty, informal way about mnemonics, memory and its organizaton, and so on. It was originally published in the early 80s--I remember reading it then--and it has been updated. Apparently, when the original went OOP, Baddeley was encouraged to reprint it, but instead he rewrote & updated it and since then it has remained in print.
posted by beelzbubba at 2:32 PM on September 21, 2010

Two other possibilities:

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind - Dr Joseph Murphy (There was a version for young people)

Psycho-Cybernetics for Youth - Maxwell Maltz
posted by Gerard Sorme at 2:43 PM on September 21, 2010

I just thought of another one. Claude Bristol's The Magic of Believing.

I'd be willing to bet that it's one of these three books in my posts. All three were very big in the 1980's.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 3:01 PM on September 21, 2010

Gerard Sorme, it's probably "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind". That sounds like something would have read as a teenager. Now to see if the library here has any of these books so I can confirm.

posted by patheral at 3:09 PM on September 21, 2010

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