Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

The year 2020, like many of its predecessors, was the year that I was going to read more books, and so I set my goal at 12 books a year.

Just like the previous years, the reading habit (amongst many others) didn’t I didn’t get past January 30th. But, fast-forward to June 2020, and I am now reading an average of two books a month.

So what changed?

I started by working on developing personal keystone habits. My keystone habits include cultivating a solid morning routine, my non-negotiables, and using a life organization system with Notion.

This process led me to prioritize reading for one hour every day. I also moved away from focusing on the goal of reading x-number of books per year to focusing on the system that gets you there, which in my case, was the commitment to reading one hour per day.

If I read for only one hour per day, I would inevitably read 20-40 pages of a book (depending on the book type) which means I can finish a 300-page book (which is the average length of many books) in 7 days and 14 days if I skipped days.

So great, I was reading more but I realized that I wasn’t retaining a lot of the information from the books that I completed. I would complete a book and forget about 95% of the content. I didn’t want to spend the time and commitment needed to finish a book, only to not recall anything, so I did some research to examine how highly productive people handled this.

Basically what I learned is that many of them write a summary of the book for themselves as a reference point, so they can quickly digest the main points without having to re-read the entire book. While there is something to be said about re-reading a fantastic book, sometimes, it’s useful to quickly extract useful tidbits that resonated with you, by reviewing your book highlights, notes, and reflections.

My book review would consist of a brief summary and a review section.

The summary would include the facts (quotes, ideas, and recommendations) both in the author’s words and paraphrased by me. The review, on the other hand, includes my thoughts, takeaways, critiques, reflections, connections to other ideas, etc.

What I have noticed with completing my first book review and summary is that the process enabled me to not only see the big picture, but I was able to recall some details much easier.

My second motivation for writing the summaries is well, I have a blog that I publish 1-2 contents per week. Since the primary focus of my blog content is curating ideas that have helped me and can help others improve their health, wellness, well-being, and lifestyle, it makes sense to also share valuable books that I have read.

My book summary and reviews would

  1. Provide a summary to someone that has not yet read the book
  2. Give a quick refresher to someone that already has read it
  3. Inspire someone that’s not looking to read the book, but can benefit from the little nuggets and/or action steps from the book.
  4. Demonstrate the impact of the book in my life.

With that said, here is my first book summary and review of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Hope you enjoy it.

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