I enjoy reading and I end up reading a lot of non-fiction books that have information that is worth remembering. Fairly recently I started trying to create one page summaries of these books to help me remember them and to give me something to review at a later date (that way I won’t have to flip through the entire book to refresh my memory).
However I found that the format I was using took way too much time, and I wasn’t actually making many one page summaries. I was trying to fit too much on one page and spending too much time on formatting. So I decided to try a format that would fit in a blog and would be quicker and easier to create. You can see an example of the new format with this review of Johnny Bunko by Daniel Pink.
The 2.0 Format:
At the top of the page I have four categories rating, the facts, twitter summary, and important notes. These categories are designed to give me or someone else a good high level feel for the book. I use the categories as follows.
- RATING: I include a grade 1-100 based off of a quick excel calculation using my ratings for various aspects of the book such as memorability and importance. I then include short text recommendation to specify who would most likely enjoy the book.
- THE FACTS: Here I include boring but important facts like the author, category, estimated time to read and any other details I feel are relevant.
- TWITTER SUMMARY: This is just a brief summary of the book. I decided to go with the 140 character limit to keep the summary short and sweet. If I need more detail later I can always go to amazon.com.
- IMPORTANT NOTES: This is just a catch all category to catch anything else I feel is important to know about the book. I probably won’t use this category for every book.
After getting the high level overview of the book I move to the “KEY IDEAS” section where I cover the meat of the book. This is merely a brief summary of what I felt were the key ideas contained in the book. I also plan on including details and quotes that I would like to remember in this section as well.
For some books this section will be a list for others it could be diagram or picture. It may even just end up being a bunch of quotes. The big picture is that the second section will capture what I feel is most worth remembering.
So that is my book review 2.0 format. If you have any ideas to make the format better please let me know. Remember I want to keep it as simple as possible so that I will actually make them.