Cliff Notes for Adults: Summarizing Business Books

Although I recently had the chance to use one for the first time, websites that summarize business books are not a new phenomenon. It turns out there’s an entire industry devoted to reading, summarizing, and outputting business books for our consumption.

Last month, I had the opportunity to check out 100 Must Reads, one of the newest websites in the industry, and read through a few of their summaries.

Why Summaries? Why Business?

Your first thought might rightfully be–is there a need for this kind of thing? Absolutely.

It turns out that business people as a general rule are fairly busy folks, but they also have an ingrained passion for lifelong learning–that’s certainly true for every successful business person I’ve come across in my life.

The business book genre offers this kind of learning, and it’s usually on topics that are highly relevant and highly useful for exactly this audience–business people who want to improve in their personal and business lives.

“Why not just read the book?,” you might say. Most still do, but with the schedules business people keep, it’s not realistic to expect that we can read, understand, and apply more than a handful of business books per year unless our life is highly flexible and we really make reading a priority.

Where there’s a problem, there’s an opportunity, and the business book summary industry has capitalized on it.

100 Must Reads

100 Must Reads was kind enough to offer me free reign through their library to check out what they had to offer. The one nice thing I noticed immediately was the relatively rock-bottom price for this particular library of books. If you want access to a great business book library at a very low entry price, this is a good opportunity.

Every summary is about 10-20 pages of dense, well-written nuggets that really get to the heart of what the author is trying to say. There are sections like “the author’s big thought” and the book notes are typically organized by chapter or big ideas/sections.

You Do Lose Something

I have to say…I enjoy reading books because the way the author sets you up for certain reveals and insights is part of the experience, and helps the learning process. Having said that, I really enjoyed skimming through the summaries and I still felt like the points came across to me.

There is just enough information in these to get into the meat of the book, without having to spend more than 20-30 minutes reviewing the information.

If you’re interested in business books like I am, I highly recommend you check out these sites.

One thought on “Cliff Notes for Adults: Summarizing Business Books

  1. I often download a free chapter/taster of a book I might be interested in on my kindle.
    If its rubbish then its deleted, if its good then i buy it.
    Is it possible to decide if a book is any good or not by reading a summary ? Do you get the writing style, the message?

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