Are Book Summaries Good or Bad? What are the Drawbacks?

I saw this review and had some inspiration to do my own. I do occasionally review publication recaps or evaluations, however I still checked out a great deal of long books, typically on rather particular topics. Nevertheless, I’ll never ever have the ability to read most books on a lot of topics. If your objective for analysis is to become much more educated, does my friend’s strategy of adhering to the recaps actually make more feeling?

I was having a discussion with a close friend that likes to read publication recaps. He’s not a huge reader, yet still wants the suggestions from wonderful books, so he goes out of his way to read the recaps of lots of books to obtain the essence of their main points.

Why should you even Read?

There are lots of reasons to check out publications, yet the two most significant are most likely understanding or enjoyment. I appreciate reviewing, so some of my reading motivation absolutely comes from the latter. But I typically attempt to pick books I assume will certainly be essential. If amusement were my only objective, I may stick to softer fiction, or surrender analysis in favor of films, tv or less laborious media.

Reviewing for expertise matters to me. However if that’s the instance, reviewing just the summaries does not sound like a bad concept. Below’s the debate:

Books, like the majority of points, have erratically distributed suggestions and also worth. The thesis of a significant disagreement is worth comparitively more than smaller sized arguments. A recap provides the major thesis as well as needed evidence without going into as much detail. Probably on an ideas-per-hour-invested basis, recaps will win out over complete publications.
Nobody will certainly review even a portion of all publications, perhaps not also a considerable portion of genuinely excellent books. The marginal value of reviewing an extra publication doesn’t diminish rapidly. If a higher focus of value can be gotten by checking out a recap compared to a complete book, it will constantly make more sense to maintain reading recaps.
The inner consistency of this book-reading method seems making sense to me. But, when I check out the world at world-famous polymaths and autodidacts, I hardly ever see them using this approach. In fact, they often utilize the contrary– looking at hard publications several times.

Take into consideration financial expert as well as polymath Tyler Cowen, writing about his method for reviewing fantastic publications:

” 1. Read a timeless work straight with, keeping in mind vital issues and also obscurities, yet not letting them hold you back. Rake with as needed, and also make ending up a concern. …

2. After finishing the classic, check out a bargain of the second literature …

3. Go back and also go over stated standard, taking as much time as you may require.”

Given our previously specified assumptions as well as debates, this strategy would (show up) totally backwards. If checking out the very same product experiences decreasing returns, after that reading a book twice should be much less effective than reviewing it as soon as or reading just a summary. So where’s the problem because logic?


So I have a pair theories of why my friend’s strategy seems, initially glance, making a lot of feeling, yet why it is fairly extra amongst the actual individuals that appear to care a great deal concerning getting the knowledge from hard reads.


The first theory I have is that the value of publications comes not just from their concepts, which naturally could usually be amassed from a recap, however from being a hard psychological task that calls for focus and also concurrently overviews much deeper thinking.

This idea seems rather radical though. Absolutely several of the value of a book must lie in the specific knowledge it imparts? If this theory were true it would absolutely make a lot of other reading routines appear useless beyond simply sustaining analysis in even more depth.

In this light, checking out a difficult publication is more than just the ideas you acquire from it. Thinking about the book’s web content while you read it is just what issues. So a really long, good book on a subject will prompt a lot longer reflection and also for that reason have a much bigger effect compared to a brief summary or maybe even numerous brief recaps.


In this sight, since summary-level expertise prevails, you could get a competitive advantage by having reviewed operate in greater deepness. Recognizing a few points to a much deeper level might offset having higher, wide summary-level knowledge due to the fact that you can concentrate on conversations as well as intellectual fields which gain from that deeper insight.

The 2nd hypothesis I have is that most individuals just get the essence of major thinkers. The ordinary educated adult most likely understands that Niccolo Machiavelli had some very callous recommendations, however do not know exactly what he in fact recommended in The Prince.

The toughest counterargument to this suggestion, however, is that lots of starved long-readers check out a vast swath of categories as well as subjects. Consequently, it seems inconsistent to argue for longer reads because of returns to expertise and after that review all sorts of publications.


The Hansonian variation of me sees the clearest factor for this aberration is that reviewing long, difficult books is something couple of individuals would do (or take pleasure in). For that reason, you can signal your bookishness by reviewing lots of deep, difficult books, even if you wind up compromising large volume of concepts.


Just what do you think? Is it better to concentrate your analysis time on longer reads, or should you cast a broader web and also concentrate even more time on publication summaries and evaluations?

For me, I’m inclined to proceed my present reading routines, if only for the very first reason I pointed out– that I enjoy checking out full books due to the fact that I locate them fascinating. Yet I’m absolutely open up to the concept of pressing my routines marginally in the direction of even more recaps as well as much less depth if that ended up being the extra efficient approach.