Remember Me?

Remember Names coverHow to Remember Names : The proven, easy, immediate method for remembering names, numbers, lists… and where you put your glasses

Submitter: I found this book while weeding in my public library’s psychology section. It seemed so innocuous at first. I pulled it off my cart and thought the cover was a bit dated (for good reason, it had apparently been hanging out at our branch for over 20 years!), but that it had a topic that would appeal to lots of patrons. Then, I opened it up… and couldn’t decide whether it was laughable or horrific. The unfortunately-named Dr. Crook’s main memory device is to pair a person’s face and name together with a concrete image. So, for example, if you meet someone new named Tony, you immediately picture his face on a Tony Award. This is such an odd image that you’re supposed to have no trouble picturing it and remembering Tony’s name the next time you bump into him. That all sounds reasonable enough… until the author illustrates just what he means on the next pages. For once, big hair isn’t the scariest thing going on in these photos. (Let me just say, I’m glad my name isn’t Helen.) This is probably a useful technique, but there are lots of books on improving memory out there. It didn’t make it back onto our shelves.

Holly: Dr. Crook!  Ha ha ha!!  Of course, my 12-year-old boy brain went straight to “what if their name is Dick?” I’m not drawing THAT on the poor kid’s face in the yearbook!  Hey, people, I know LOTS of people legitimately named Dick!

Shame on me.

transform to concrete image

winning the name game

name examples

name examples

name examples


  1. I hate to think what it suggests for names that don’t work with those kinds of associations.

  2. This was creepy when it was new! You have to wonder if anyone looked at this before it was cataloged and processed. Or, they really hated people called Andrew and Helen.

  3. I’m one of those for whom this book was designed. I am TERRIBLE at remembering names! Faces, yes, but names, forget it. It’s admirable that the author has tried to come up with a (relatively) fun, even silly, way to help remember but the presentation…it’s jaw-dropping: the mixture of those head shots and grade-school drawings had me laughing heartily. Sadly, I work next to a woman named Jane, whom I’m now cursed to think of as ‘Chain’. As for one of our volunteers named Dick, well…

  4. To be honest, I’m not sure how I remember the names of patrons at my library. Seeing their last names over and over on the terminal helps, but some are associations. I do have a Danielle Boone as a patron…

  5. Hahahahahahahaha this is the best one you’ve posted for MONTHS!!! So I’m assuming Joan Reynolds (mentioned above as “Name brand or company”) is supposed to be pictured as somebody named Joan wrapped in Reynolds Wrap? That is SO Criminal Minds! And poor Bruce with the noose – I can’t believe they put that in there! Man, my mood just went up about seventy degrees after reading this post.

  6. hehe a great book! I’m awful at remembering people’s names, but I find the methods in this book, both funny and odd. Although saying that, the weirder the association you put with a person, the more their names might stick in your brain. It might work….or not!

  7. This is the best one there has been in a while, a truly awful book that was awful even when it was first published. Who thinks it is appropriate to draw a noose around someone’s neck?? Although I have to admit I wouldn’t mind putting Jeanne in my pocket.

  8. This must be standard advice, actually – I’ve seen it time and again. What makes this book really special, though is the illustrations.

  9. It’s funny how the pictures progressively get worse and worse. But I’m beginning to wonder if the author of this book may have been a dangerous individual. You should Google the author, and see if there were any mysterious disappearances in their home town.

  10. Here in Australia on one of our television stations there is a newsreader called ‘Anton Ennis’; the mind just boggles about how this book would suggest we remember his name! The 12-year-old boy syndrome is universal.

  11. It does look like Jeff Foxworthy. No reason it shouldn’t be, actually. The photos are all probably head shots the author paid for, not “real” people named Bruce and Helen!

  12. Is this book a reprint from an earlier decade? Surely no one, not even Jeanne-in-pocket, still had hair like that in 1992. I hope!

  13. My friend John Hoover was perpetualy called Kirby by a mutual friend who tried this method, and associated his face with a vaccuum cleaner brand. True story.

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