For the last several years, I’ve been a subscriber to Audio-Tech Business Book Summaries. Each month, you get two summaries of some of the most important and latest business books. The summaries come in both audio form (either CD or, I think, MP3 download) and in written transcripts (by email).
Each summary is about 45 minutes, and they actually summarize the content very, very well. So for a time investment of about 1.5 hours per month, you can keep up with 24 business books per year.
This post is not an advertisement — nobody asked me to write this. I have simply found this to be a helpful tool which some of you might be interested in exploring. I think the cost is about $150/year.
One point to keep in mind: Don’t expect to fully absorb the content in only 1.5 hours a month. If you want to truly think over and remember the content, it will take additional review of the transcripts and just plain reflecting on the content. I view this program as a way to stay briefed on new books, and then go deeper on the few that seem most useful.
Here’s a summary from their site:
Audio-Tech Business Book Summaries are carefully written summations of the best business books published each year. They are recorded on audio CDs or cassettes, plus word-for-word e-transcripts.
Each audio summary is 45 minutes in length, much shorter than the average of 10 to 15 hours required to thoroughly read and comprehend most truly important business books. They enable subscribers to turn the “downtime” of commuting, travel or exercise, into profitable “uptime.” A subscription to Business Book Summaries is a productive alternative to the radio or cellular phone.
The 24 books summarized each year are selected by our Editorial Board from nearly 3,000 new titles examined. The Audio-Tech Editorial Board is composed of Harvard Business School Graduates, Fortune 500 senior executives and internationally known management consultants. Each is an expert in one or more of the subject areas we cover.
Our professional writers and editors carefully summarize the books under the watchful eyes of Editorial Board Members.
Last of all, here’s a business idea for anyone so inclined: This would be a good thing to do for the latest books in Christian publishing. I bet a lot of pastors and people in ministry would appreciate being able to keep up with about 2 books a month through well-done audio and written summaries. The business model for such a company would not be hard to spell out.
But the books chosen for summarizing would need to be good. None of that fluffy, boring, useless stuff that so often finds its way into Christian bookstores. Also, I would recommend not limiting the summaries to new books. It would be helpful maybe for 1 of the summaries each month to be new, and 1 of the summaries to be a solid, classic work from church history (Edwards, Luther, Owen, Augustine, etc.), as well as more recent classics such as Packer’s Knowing God.