I have some time on my hands and would love to catch up on my business book readings. However, there are just 'too many books and so little time.' Yes, I am a subscriber of Audible.com where I get to download audio books and listen directly on my iPhone 3G. In one of my blogs, I described how audiobooks allowed me to keep up with the required readings for my Personal MBA.
But with audiobooks running between 8-15 hours of listening time. There must be a better way.
Enter book summaries. I signed up for a trial account the other day with Biz Summaries and I was just amazed at the quality of book summaries that they have in their archive. Their summaries give me the nuggets of knowledge that not only save time, but more importantly, zero in on the salient ideas in an easy to read format. What I discovered actually lends credence to one of the testimonials:
A Summary isn't merely a digest or excerpts strung together. It's a seamless document that reads (and holds your interest) like a magazine article. And you retain more of the content when you read a Summary than when you read a book. A major university study proved that a few years back.
$79.99 will get you a 1 year subscription and access to their more than 500 bestsellers which on the average are between 5-10 A4 sized pages when printed. This is a definite time saver for me.
I even went a step further and converted the summaries to mp3 using TextAloud. TextAloud is a windows only software that converts any text into voice and even to MP3. Listen to email, web pages and documents on your computer or portable MP3 player. When I bought TextAloud a couple of years back, I also purchased two natural voices – Kate and Paul. I swear that the quality of mp3's I produce from TextAloud are at par, if not better, than my purchased audiobooks.
I usually end up with a 20-30 minute mp3 per book summary which I listen to when driving or even while shooting the breeze at my favorite Starbucks. I find that listening to the mp3 while reading a printed copy of the summary allows me to zero-in better on the materials.