Recently, I started writing reviews and summaries of the books I’ve read.
In my past, I read mainly for work. Each book digested served a higher purpose — creating a course, researching a topic, finishing a project. As I moved into retirement, I found that I read even more…but I was feeling empty. There was no purpose to reading, other than entertainment.
Yet, I still found myself outlining topics and summarizing salient points.
Reviews became my way of connecting the past to the present. A way to continue in my role as a teacher, potentially helping others exploring these works or topics down the road.
In my writing you will find reviews of two types. Pure opinion on the text — whether it was worth my read (or not). These are traditional book reviews of the kind you would find on Amazon or other book-related sites.
Also, for more detailed texts, I started writing key point summaries which surface important points, lessons, quotes, or other things to remember about the text — things that are important to me or that I want to remember. I call these atomic summaries since they help me break the book down into its component parts. Not every book deserves an atomic summary, but you will be able to tell those that do…they have the more lengthy expositions.
A few random summaries are presented in the animation shown here. You can find a comprehensive list of all my reviews on LibraryThing.
Reviews are also available in TinyCat, but as of today, there is no way to generate a consolidated listing of them.