Read more with book summaries

Sunday Morning

Do you need to read more but find you don’t have enough time? Welcome to the club. I’ve been falling way behind in my reading, particularly business books, and have found it difficult to catch up.

There are so many good business books being released that it’s impossible to pick the right ones let alone read all of them. So how do you keep abreast of the latest yet still have time for everything else you have to do? You might want to try a book summary service.

Last week I happened to meet Dan Pfister a principle at The Business Source, a Toronto Canada based service that writes summaries of the latest business books. After digging through their web site I realized what a great idea. I know a few people (not me) who used Cliff Notes in college. It was a good way to get the gist of a book (not a great way to study for a test). The Business Source does something similar yet much more elegantly.

Business Source subscribes receive two 5-page summaries (about 2,500 words)each month. These concise yet detailed summaries take between 10 – 30 minutes to read. You get enough detail to come away with a basic understanding of the book’s key concepts. You will know immediately if you want more detail. If so, just click their link Amazon affiliate link and buy the book. If not, then you haven’t used much time and saved yourself $30+.

I read a few of their summaries and found them to be very well written, insightful, and quite entertaining. In fact I was very impressed with the style. The writer gives you a good insight into the book without editorializing or getting in the way. There is really an art to this and their writers very good at it.

The summaries do an excellent job of getting to the mead of a book yet do it in a way that keeps you reading. For example their web site contains a free sample of their review of Freakanomics. A book I have never read, but wanted to. In 20 minutes I had a good understanding of the essential elements of the book and a plan to buy a copy for my collection. Take a look at it and you’ll see what I mean.

Business Source Subscribers receive two summaries of current business books each month plus 24 sets of business tips and 4 audio tracks from prominent business speakers each quarter. The cost is $130 US per year, about the cost of 4 books.

If your time is valuable, but you understand the value of “sharpening you saw,” then you should check out The Business Source