For the last year or so I have had a subscription with the service blinkist which provides summary’s of popular non fiction books, with a focus on business and self improvement literature. I thought it would be an effective way to screen books to decide what books I would want to read in full. I have also read numerous business books which should have been article length, e.g. the length of the summaries prepared by blinkest.
I have now read a number of books that I also read blinkest summaries. I have found that for me blinkest summaries are only moderately helpful. I often find them emphasizing points I didn’t think were particularly important and fail to highlight what I think is most important. I was surprised by this until I thought about my experience with a number of books.
There are several books I have eat multiple times. Each time I read these books I had a different experience. Things I once thought were a focus of a chapter now seem more like footnotes, and there are passsage I have no memory of from this first time I read the book, I seem to have completely missed the point the first time through which later seeem to be a major focus of the he book.
This is a reminder that our perspective which is shaped by our current life situation can have an huge impact about what we perceive, which in turn effects what we learn. It’s not surprising that the summary of a book with a wildly different life experience will call out very different and highlights.