What tl;dr Book Summaries is all about.

Hello there! I just thought I’d put a few words behind the genesis of this idea and what I imagine the utility of this platform is. In the spirit of this platform, “tl;dr” is an internet slang/ expression commonly used in discussion forums as a shorthand response to previous posts that are deemed unnecessarily long and extensive.

In that same vein of thought, tl;dr Book Summaries presents user submitted summaries of popular non fiction books. The primary focus here is on business books that aren’t specialist/ technical reads, preferably a topic that is accessible to a wide enough audience.

How the platform works:

  1. You read a book: Pretty much any non-fictional book that you think could help better the way you do business, live life, manage your life etc. Simple enough. NO Harry Potter or the Twilight series. Most of my focus is on business and self help.
  2. You summarize your key learnings from the book that you think could help your fellow readers. Could be five lines, could be fifty. Preferably don’t make your summary as long as the book itself. You could copy the structure I’ve already used, if that helps as a starting point for your summary.
  3. Reach out to me to log you in as an author and publish, discuss and debate your summary on the page at : tldrbusinessbooks@gmail.com
  4. Feel good about yourself for having actually read through an entire book, and for having shared your learning leaving the world a better place than it was five minutes ago.

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Now for the long version of the story. This was an idea that came to me in that hot spot of creativity and imagination, my shower. One of the better ideas to come out of that space I’d say.

I used to be a voracious reader, and there was nothing I used to enjoy more a few years ago, more than I used to enjoy reading a good book. These days though I just can’t seem to find the time for it anymore. I do still read a lot these days, articles and journals alike. But when it comes to complex ideas such as those on business, there is a completeness in presentation, and a thought exercise that a good author takes you through in his/ her book that an article just can’t capture. Hence for a while now I have been trying to get back to the reading habit, and many a New Year resolutions and goal sheets later, I haven’t accomplished much.

So tldrbooks was an idea born from my attempt to trick myself into reading more. I had originally hosted it on my own domain but medium looks far more exciting, hence the move here.

The platform works for me because now, I am encouraged to:

a) Read with the goal of learning, through the dissemination of my learning:

Simple assumption here that if I can spell out what I learnt from a book in a simple summary, that probably means I’ve understood it well.

b) Uncover unaddressed logical/ information gaps or potential flaws in the author’s arguments

Business to me is nuanced and subjective. It is easy to get distracted by a fancy cover and the author’s reputation and end up taking a book as gospel. We learn through our discussions and debates, and this platform hopes to encourage the same.

c) Make us better readers: What we read is important, but how we read it is useful as well. I have been struggling to find a reading system that I can stick with and I’m keen to learn what works for you guys. To get the discussion started, these are 2 things I have evolved into doing that appear to work for me:

  1. Set micro goals: Clearly, even reading a chapter a day was getting hard to sustain. Now I set micro targets. My current target is to read a book, 10 minutes a day. Not more, not less. So far it’s worked wonders over setting some huge goal I seem to drop soon enough.
  2. No more resolutions: I wanted reading to be that fun, enjoyable, learning experience again. I for one could definitely do without the added negativity and pressure of not sticking to my resolutions. It’s either going to be interesting to continue doing, or I probably should find another hobby.

That’s really all there is to it. The publication and its maintenance are very much in beta at the moment and hopefully shall evolve with your feedback. It is also very much self-funded at the moment, both in terms of time and money. But the point was to get it off the ground and then evolve from there.

Cheers and looking forward to hearing from you all,

Vyas