My problem with book summaries

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”

  1. It sounds like you’re talking about CliffsNotes or SparkNotes. Students often use them rather than read the book.

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