I’m a fan of Blinkist and 4 Minute Books. I love book summaries because they are really helpful in saving time. But, not in the way you think.

See, I don’t use book summaries to replace a book. And I don’t read a book of blinks on Blinkist and assume I know enough about the topic and can move on.

For me, and several others on Reddit, reading the book is better than the movie, and better than any summary. You miss so much of the story, or the concepts by skipping the book.

But I do like summaries because they save time when trying to decide what to read next. I can invest 15 minutes and basically know if they book’s contents are geared to what I need.

So I absolutely suggest reading summaries and using a service like Blinkist to help you figure out what to read, and if a book is for you. But then you have to pick up the book.

    Why Read A Book vs A Summary Only?

    • Summaries miss the context of the concepts in a book.
    • You miss tons of supporting material that solidify an idea in your mind and make it applicable to your life.
    • You are only getting one other person’s summary of what is important in a book, and that is almost always based on their point of view, and it almost never matches your own.
    • A summary fails to share the degree of importance each idea or topic has to the value of the book as a whole.
    • You miss the stories, quotes, exercises, and conclusions the author finds most important for the topic.
    • It takes time to learn and internalize a concept, you aren’t likely to do that from 15 minutes of summary reading.

    What To Do Instead Of Reading Book Summaries

    Here’s what I do, and why I think it’s more effective for both learning and applying what I learn from non-fiction books:

    • Find summaries of books you want to read
    • If you like the summary, add it to your list of books to read.
    • Highlight the summary of each book and send to Evernote. This gives you a place to quickly view a short summary and remember why you wanted to read a book.
    • Buy the physical book, because you learn and remember more from a physical book than a screen.
    • Mark the book, highlight it, and take notes while reading it, so that you can quickly revisit the contents every couple of weeks for a couple of months.
    • Make a list of actions you can take to help you apply what you’ve learned from the book and add those actions to your calendar, 1 per day, every day for a month.

    Now, you’ll remember what you’ve read, and you have a plan to make it a part of your life so you will actually see the change you are hoping for.

    Of course, you can also join our book club and use our daily exercises, personal coaching, and group discussion to take your learning to the next level.

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