What is a summary of a book?



What is a summary of a book?

Book summary what is it?

So, what is a summary of a book?

book summary is a condensed version of an original book. Summaries usually could be from a paragraph long to several pages depending on the length of the book being condensed. The book summary explains the main idea and major points of a book. It helps readers to decide whether or not they want to read the whole book. Typically, a summary will do the following:

  • Describes the main ideas of the book. Accurately representing the main ideas (while omitting the less important details) is the major goal of the summary.
  • Uses direct quotations of keywords, phrases, or sentences. Quotes are taken directly from the text of the book for underlining key ideas; paraphrasing the other important ideas.
  • Includes specific examples or data, which helps to illustrate the main idea or/and key points of the book.
What is a summary of a book?
What is a summary of a book?

What is a summary of a book. Similar definitions

Book summary what is it?

Sometimes book summaries called: abstracts, briefs, précis, or synopsis. So it means, that “Atomic Habits brief”, “Atomic Habits abstract”, “Atomic Habits synopsis”, “Atomic Habits précis” and “Atomic Habits summary” all have basically the same meaning and content inside.  The word “summary” comes from the Latin word, “sum

What is a summary of a book. Benefits

Book summary what is it?

I think there are a lot of benefits to reading summaries, depending on what your goals are.

1. Saving time, energy and money

Book summary what is it?

Maybe you are an avid reader and want to get a better sense of whether or not you should invest your time, energy, and money into reading the whole book. An extensive summary could help with making a proper decision.  Try to remember how many times you have started a book, and understood, that this is not what you think it was or just the book hadn’t caught your interest, after reading 25% or even 60% of the book. To be honest, I feel not well after reading the book, which is not, interests me.

2. Fast recall of the main idea and key points

Book summary what is it?

Let’s say you read a book a while ago, a summary can refresh your memory so you can recall the key points without re-reading the whole thing. This could be especially useful if your book club is reading a book you’ve read in the past, or if the book is being made into a new movie or TV show.

What is a summary of a book?
What is a summary of a book?

3. Addition to an actual book

Book summary what is it?

A summary could also serve as a companion to reading the full book, particularly if it is rather dense and complicated, enhancing the reading experience with further analysis and insight.

4. Time management technic (SECRET)

Book summary what is it?

I am a book lover with 10+ years of experience and several years ago I discover technic, which drastically increases the speed of reading and quality of remembering of the content.

Reading a book summary before starting an actual book is an effective time management technic. Our brain works faster, deeper, and more accurate when it has some prerequisite inside. Imagine starting university without a high school basis, getting a degree will become almost impossible, but for a high school kid with 1500+ SAT score, it will feel like a decent challenge or even easier.

After acquainting your brain and memory with the main idea and key points of a book, you’ve built an outline/skeleton and also calibrated the according to memory parts of your brain, i.e. you’ve made information processing easier and more effective for yourself.

5. Bookmark for the future

Book summary what is it?

Or maybe you just really want to get the key ideas or points from the book and simply don’t have the time to read hundreds of pages of details. A summary can distill the main points into 20–30 pages or sometimes even less. And maybe one day you’ll decide to read the whole book when you have more time in the future.

There is another interesting example of book summaries usage. This is a real story from my family.  My cousin works at a local book store, and as you can imagine, every day hundreds of people ask him questions about different books and he also needs to publish a short description of the books to social media channels and companies’ websites.

How do you think, how my cousin can read hundreds of books a week?

Ha-ha!!! As you have probably guessed he doesn’t read all these books, he reads book summaries.

What is a summary of a book. Types

Book summary what is it?

What is a summary of a book?
What is a summary of a book?

1. Text book summary

Book summary what is it?

This is simply a summary, which you can read online on a website like 1minutebook, getabstract, or blinkist or in the mobile app. Sometimes you may find book summaries in .txt, .docx, .pdf, .epub, .mobi or .azw (Kindle) formats, which you are able to download to your PC or gadget.

Pros:

  • easy to find:  almost every book exists in text summary format
  • lightweight:  text files have a rather small size i.e. you can load or download it fast
  • reading without internet: you may download book summaries to your PC or gadget and then read it even in the jungle )
  • printing: you may print a book summary directly from a browser or file opener software
  • convenient to make remarks: almost every modern text reading app or software has the functionality to highlight a piece of text and bookmark it

Book summary what is it?

Cons:

  • no visual representation: a majority of book summaries in text format don’t include pictures, charts, and images. In some cases, it may lead to inconvenience.

Book summary what is it?

What is a summary of a book?
What is a summary of a book?

2. Audio book summary

Book summary what is it?

This is simply a summary, which you can listen to on a website or in the mobile app. The thing is, that not all the books, that have a text version, at the same time have an audio one. The most popular formats are .mp3 and .wav.  Less often you may run across .aax(Audible) or .flac. There are many places on the web, where you may listen to book summaries in audio format. The most common is the podcats. Here is a link to an article “32 of the best literary and book podcasts for book lovers

Pros:

  • convenient to listen in the road: you may listen to a book summary in the audio format while driving, some people state it as “University on wheels”. Or listen at public transport. I remember my college years when I was listening to tens of audiobooks in a crowded subway. Or you may listen while walking in the park or on your way to somewhere.
  • convenient to listen in the bed: the great advantage of audio book summaries is that you can listen to them in bed before going to bed i.e. with no lights turned on. As for me, this is the best “Pro”, because I just can’t fall asleep without listening to some audio)
  • listening without internet: some websites and apps allow you to download book summaries in audio format to your PC or gadget. And then you can listen to it even in the mountains ) 

Book summary what is it?

Cons:

  • inconvenient to make remarks: as you understand, there is no direct way to make remarks in audio files. Every time I want to highlight an interesting idea, I have to switch to “Notes” app
  • not all the book summaries have an audio format: this is a fact, maybe in 10 years we will have access to at least majority of popular books
  • no visual representation

Book summary what is it?

What is a summary of a book?
What is a summary of a book?

3. Video book summary

Book summary what is it?

What is a summary of a book?
What is a summary of a book?

This is simply a summary, which you can watch online. The most popular place as you have probably guessed is YouTube. Usually, a YouTuber informally takes about books, so it is a combination of summary and review. 

One of my favorites is Clark Kegley, this young man delivers information interestingly and entertainingly.

But there is also another video book summary format, which is quite effective – animated book summaries. In animated book summaries YouTubers usually talk behind the scenes, but on a screen computer animation is going on, explaining key ideas of the book with drawings and paintings. The one that I like is The Swedish Investor, but there are many other ones.

Pros:

  • very visual: it’s a pleasure to watch a book summaries in video format, especially animated ones, as learning through visual images is much more effective, than just reading or listening

Book summary what is it?

Cons:

  • the only small amount of books have a video format summary: as for today only the most popular books have its book summary in video format
  • can’t download: most book summaries in video format are on Youtube and unfortunately it doesn’t have a download function
  • inconvenient to make remarks: thesame issue as with audio format book summaries

Book summary what is it?

What is a summary of a book?
What is a summary of a book?

4. Sample of the book (first 10%-15%)

Book summary what is it?

The sample is not a summary of the book. Usually it is an electronic book in common format (.txt, .docx, .pdf, .epub, .mobi or .azw (Kindle)), but which contains only a portion of a book. It may be the first 10% – 20% or first several chapters of the book. This volume is usually enough for a potential buyer to evaluate the book and make a decision: to buy the book or not.

From my experience it is an effective way in terms of time i.e. it gives just enough content to decide if to continue reading the whole book. And also this model is protective of your funds i.e. you know what you are buying. The thing is that not all authors and stores offer that option.  

I’ve bought several books, reading the sample first. Once, the story went even further. I’ve read a sample of the “The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over” and decide to get the full ebook. In the middle of reading the ebook, I intended, that I need to have it in my physical library. So, this works too.

Pros:

  • familiarization with the author’s language and style: from my experience even the books, which have many 5-star reviews on Amazon, sometimes may not interest me, just because author’s narrative style doesn’t attract me
  • every book may have a sample: it is obvious) And some publishing houses use it as their marketing model

Book summary what is it?

Cons:

  • inability to see the whole picture: even though it is a logical and tiny minus, but sometimes the rest of the book might be not as compelling as the beginning

Book summary what is it?

Conclusion

Final Thoughts

I hope that by reading this article you have a clear understanding and image of what is a summary of book.

A short recap: book summary is 1 to 30 pages long condensed version of a book, which explains the main idea and key points.

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