Tuesday, January 3, 2012

two one four six eight zero zero * * * * * * *

A patron marveled as I demonstrated the downloadable ebook product and typed in my library card number by heart. While not a particularly unique feat among librarians with a couple years under their belt, it's kind of fun (and handy) to show others you can memorize a 14 digit number.

This episode and two books I have read recently highlight this fascinating human function - memory. Moonwalking With Einstein is a journalist's story of his involvement in the US Memory Championships. Joshua Foer not only explains how the champions accomplish amazing feats but he provides a cultural history of man's need for memory. We don't need to remember for survival in the 21st century but it kept people alive before paper, pencil,printing presses and computers.

The loss of memory is the subject of the novel Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante. It is a literary mystery with an Alzheimer sufferer as the main character. The reader gets to know the once powerful surgeon Jennifer during her lucid and foggy moments while her loved ones and police question her about the suspicious death of her best friend.

Both these books are available at the library and through our ebook/audiobook catalog MyMediaMall.net. Have your library card number ready if you are signing into MyMediaMall -- and here's a hint - the first seven digits are 2146800.


Linda K. said...

Cathy, thanks for the recommendation. "Turn of Mind" sounds like my kind of mystery. My Dad slowly died of complications from Alzheimer's so I'm always looking for ways to help my memory - Scrabble, crosswords, state capitals, books and authors - anything to make me think I'm still okay. I also know my library card number by heart and during my first job as a telephone operator for "Ma Bell" and we all had fun memorizing as many area codes as we could. (At least it seemed like fun at the time. Now it just seems kind of dorky.)Oh well.

Gus said...

Wow, I've never heard of the US Memory Championships, how interesting. Or maybe I did hear of it once but forgot... (See what I did there? Lynne will think that's funny.)

I myself have my driver's license number and the VINs (Vehicle Identification Numbers) to both my cars memorized- one is 10 digits, the other 17. Or 18. I forget. At some point I'm sure it made life easier, as I'm sure your memorization of your card number does, but now I think such trivia keeps me from remembering all my online passwords for more than 30 days at a time.

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