There is a problem I have with book summaries, and I’m trying to see if I’m the only one.
When I don’t have time to read a book, I search for a summary. But the problem with summaries is they are too short. I can feel a lot of information is lost when reading it. And there is no relation between paragraphs and ideas. It’s a bunch of highlights put together.
It seems what we have currently is: Either you read the full book, or you read a summary to get some highlights. There should be something in the middle, right? A long summary you can read in a couple of hours without sacrificing all the necessary information. Think of it like a book, minus all the non-necessary stuff.
I started writing long summaries for some books for myself. After I finish the book, I put it aside and refer to the notes when I need to refresh my memory. They are +4000 words summaries. They summarize each chapter and preserve the chronological order of events/information.
It’s not a summary you’ll read in 10 minutes. And it’s not a book you’ll read in 30 days. It’s something between these two. A long summary you can read and get all information you need, instead of the highlights only.
I’ve been thinking of putting those summaries online. And given the time I spent on them, maybe I should sell them. But I’m not sure yet.
What do you think?
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3 responses to “My problem with book summaries”
I have the same problem, long books and short summaries. For now all I do is taking pictures of interesting pages/paragraphs and annotate them.
BTW We’ve started something similar for talks, articles and books also.
It sounds like you’re talking about CliffsNotes or SparkNotes. Students often use them rather than read the book.
Yes, please do post your summaries online.