A voracious but forgetful reader
I’ve been reading “business books” since I was in college 15+ years ago. I read 5-10 per year. That’s over 100 business books in total.
And my struggle has always been that while I’m reading a book, I can see and understand the insight. But as soon as I finish the book, I rapidly forget about it. In one ear👂 and out the other.
This isn’t that surprising given that adult learning experts highlight that for new information to stick, the learner should be exposed to the content in a number of ways across multiple occasions, not just one format at one point in time.
Becoming a better learner
This Book Report Project is my own personal effort to better assimilate what I learn from business books into my professional practices.
In my reading practice, I:
Read the book, adding highlights if it’s in Kindle, or bookmarks if it’s a paper book. Upon completion, spend 60-120 minutes reviewing my own notes and summarizing what I think are the salient points. Add my own short view on the takeaways that really resonate for me. As such, the book reports are a combination of a succinct version of a particular book, with a small dose of editorial from me. If you have differing takeaways from the book, I’d love to hear from you.
In my work, I:
Reference my reports when working with founders on myriad issues they encounter during the . Reference my reports when doing my own thinking and writing about modern work (e.g., and ). I find I can more easily access disparate ideas I’ve encountered in this way.
Sharing the work
And now I’m sharing these resources for others to jumpstart learning in this area, or as a model for doing your own book reports! Feel free to copy this template if it works for you.
I encourage readers to remember that reading something once, a full book or otherwise, is only one step in a journey to deeply learn something new.