A couple months ago we launched the first Anti-Book Club. It was a phenomenal success by my criteria, with 41 books on productivity, creativity, learning, and related topics summarized over the course of just a month.

More importantly, the feedback was almost unanimously positive. It ranged from “interesting experiment” to “I’ll never read any other way ever again.”

Here’s a few things I learned from the experiment:

  1. A relatively large group of people can be taught to perform Progressive Summarization effectively, just from reading articles
  2. Other people enjoy and get as much value out of the process as I do
  3. Having a firm deadline and getting access to other people’s notes are major incentives for participating

For version 2.0, we’re making some process improvements to make the experiment even more successful.

  1. Use this quick overview of Progressive Summarization to refresh your memory, generously created and shared by Michael Fogleman (feel free to share this with others who might find value in it)
  2. For this round we’re requiring that your note include up to layer 4 summarization (bolded portions, highlighted portions, and summary in your own words)
  3. A note on export limits: Amazon Kindle and other ebook services limits how much of some books you can export, usually 10–15%. If you’re even approaching this limit you’ve highlighted way too much. Use it as a helpful constraint!
  4. Use version 2.0 of the book summary note template, now including sections for:
  • Adding a photo of the book cover (which you can pull from the Amazon page)
  • Your Slack username (so other Praxis members can start a discussion or channel with you about the book)
  • Extra miscellaneous comments (for example, explaining how much value the book offers beyond what is captured in the notes, or which other books or sources you recommend as related reading)
  • External links to Amazon and Goodreads page for convenience

You’ll be able to choose from my reading list for researching the Building a Second Brain book. I’m publishing it chapter by chapter on Praxis, so you’ll continue to benefit from this research. If we can knock out this list via compressed summaries it will greatly accelerate how fast I can complete it.

We’ll continue to coordinate via the members-only Slack channel. PLEASE search your email and accept the invite we sent you, since we can only send out new invites once current ones have been activated.

Submit your email address below by Friday, March 23 if you’d like to participate in version 2.0 (NOW CLOSED). I’ll email you the link to sign up for a specific book, the new note template, and instructions for submission. You’ll need to sign up again even if you participated in version 1.0.

You’ll have one month to complete your reading and summarization, ending April 23. And those who submit book summaries will get access to everyone else’s.

Please email me at [email protected] with any ideas you have on how to make the experiment more successful.

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