How to Find Any Word in a Book - a Simple 'trick'

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How to find any word in a book. A simple 'trick' to find a word in a book.

So, you have family staying over and, as usual you want to try and find something to keep everyone amused. This simple 'trick' to find any word in any book will amaze anyone you try it on--well, those that haven't read this, of course. The premise is simple; someone choses any word from any page in any book and with the power of mathematics you will be able to tell them what the word was. Unless both you and the person you are performing this 'trick' on is very good with numbers, it is best to use a calculator. And, of course, you need to have at least one book handy to do this or it becomes a bit pointless. Read on to find out how it all works.

  • The first step is to allow the person to chose a word from any page in a book and not to tell you what it is.
  • Once the word has been chosen, hand them the calculator and get them to follow the next 5 steps.
  1. Multiply the page number by 100.
  2. Add 25 to this total.
  3. Count the number of lines down, from the top of the page, to the line the word is on; add that number to the total.
  4. Multiply by 100.
  5. Count the number of words from the start of the line to the chosen word; add that number to the total.

Ask the person for their final total; it is all you will need to find what word they picked.

How do you work it out , I hear you ask. Basically, deduct 2,500 from the final total. The last two digits are the word number in from the start of the line. The next two digits (to the left) are the line down from the top of the page. The remaining numbers (again, to the left) will give you the page. It really is as simple as that, but just in case you haven't quite worked it out, read on to see an example.

For example, say the final number was 1,833,907.

  • Deducting 2,500 from that number leaves 1,831,407
  • The word you are looking for is the 7th word (last 2 digits)
  • The word you are looking for is on the 14th line (next 2 digits)
  • The word you are looking for is on the 183rd page.

It is as simple as that. Just by using simple mathematics you can easily find any word in a book that someone else has chosen. Now, that is magic.


Belinda Dobie
Posted on May 20, 2010
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