Write the key ideas in your own words

  • If you're reading a print or hardcover book, write your notes and highlights into a word processor or note-taking app.
  • If you're reading a Kindle book, add your notes, then export your notes and highlights. Copy them into a preferred word processor or note-taking app. Remove all the irrelevant markings, like "Read more at location {NUMBER]", "Add a note".
  • Now, rewrite each highlight in your own words.
  • If you highlighted chapter headings, change them into subheadings.
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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Reasons for writing a book summary
  • Writing a book summary helps you remember what you read months, or even years, after reading.
  • It helps you connect main concepts from other books, giving you a deeper level of understanding.
  • Lastly, it helps you improve your own writing.

Writing a book summary consists of three steps.

  1. Take notes while you read.
  2. Write the main takeaways in your own words.
  3. Continue to summarise over time (progressive summarization.)
  • If you read a printed book, highlight important quotes, ideas, or questions. Write the page number on the first blank page.
  • If you're reading a Kindle book, use Kindle's "notes" and "highlights" to collect important takeaways.
  • Highlight the book's chapter headings as you're reading. For books, where each chapter builds on the last, it will be easier to get an overview of your notes and highlights.

Use progressive summarization to distil the ideas: Summarise your notes, then summarise that summary, then summarise that summary.

There are five layers to progressive summarization.

  1. The book's notes and highlights are unedited and lack context.
  2. Solve the context problem by summarising the book in your own words.
  3. Highlight the key takeaways that are not context-specific.
  4. Bold small instructions that tell you what to do.
  5. Remix and combine ideas to create content. It is best done over time.

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RELATED IDEAS

What is a Book Summary?

A book summary is not a book review.

A book review is a description of the book including your opinions, interpretations, ideas, and critiques.

A book summary, sometimes called a synopsis, it recaps all the main ideas and does not include outside commentary.

11

IDEAS

Reading Books Is Like Changing Your Past
  • Gaining knowledge isn’t the only reason we have to read books.
  • A good book read with curiosity and an open mind can change our life.
  • Reading books is like updating the software inside your brain, and a good book gives us new ways to interpret our past and present life.
  • It is also a good idea to quit reading books that serve no purpose, as the opportunity cost is high.
  • Life is short and should be spent reading the best books possible.
  • Read the good ones more than once.
Book Clubs

A book club is a reading group who read and talk about books based on a topic or an agreed-upon reading list.

The book club can meet monthly. That will give members enough time to read the book, think about key ideas, and prepare for the meeting.

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