Why Summaries of Business Books?


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Having worked in the publishing industry for a while now, let me tell you a little secret. Guided by the economics of printing and traditional distribution, business books are expected to be of a certain length. If the core idea of the book is not enough to make it that long, it is padded with supplementary material to achieve that. This material might be useful, but is not always essential.

An effective business book, measuring at 200-250 pages, can not just be pages after pages of business material. There will be a witty remark or two. Some connection to anecdotal knowledge. Some connection to theory of evolution and some to what Shakespeare’s characters said about the world. Stuff to make the book interesting. When you are reading for pleasure, these things are useful. But when you are pressed for time, you want to get to the core ideas quickly.

A good business book is as much about the ideas as about effective story telling. Apart from explaining the core idea, the authors also needs to sell it. So, a significant part of the book is used for that. If you are not convinced that the idea is valid, the selling part is essential. But if you quickly want to know what there is to know, you really don’t need to spend time being sold to.

So, I have written these summaries to extract the core ideas from across the chapters, instead of summarizing the book chapter-wise. The effort has been to present the broad picture and also include all the essential details. After reading the summaries, if you find that the book is what you absolutely need currently, or you find something very interesting and intriguing, or you feel like challenging the idea, you can read the complete book.