This podcast is about how to read and learn effectively without being overwhelmed by information overload. It’s just over 53 minutes long and spans blog reading to book reading to learning strategies. There’s a story behind this podcast, though…
A few weeks ago, Cath Duncan asked me to be the guest expert for her Bottom-line on A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. To give me some more background on the Bottom-line Book Club, she let me listen to her Bottom-line on Nick Williams’ The Work We Were Born to Do. I really liked her coverage of Williams’ book, but I let her know that I didn’t know whether the Bottom-line Book Club was actually for the people that she was saying it was for.
Let me explain: the Bottom-line Book Club (BLBC) was originally pitched as something that was for busy people who wanted to get the basic ideas from influential books but didn’t have time to read all of the books to figure out what those ideas were. So Cath would read a book in the context of everything else she has read and cover the high-value concepts from that book. Her coverage, then, would let people get the important stuff from the books without them having to read the book. She also interviews the author or an expert on the topic, which is pretty fantastic when you think about it: not only do you hear Cath’s perspective, but you hear the perspective of other experts, as well.
The quality of the product was exceptional – it’s hard to imagine that she does this every month – and while I was excited by the content, I immediately sensed that it wouldn’t save me any time; in fact, after reading her Bottom-line and hearing Williams’ talk about the book, I wanted to read his book even more! So I wrote this to Cath:
I’ll have to comment that I’m probably not your Right Person for BLBC. I’m an avid reader and deep consumer, so reading your BL only made me realize that I wanted to read Nick’s book myself. If I were to take your awesomeness, his awesomeness, and then add my own experience, how much more would I get out of it? I also read 6-10 books a month, too, and reading is just a part of my holistic growth process.
We continued to talk about the BLBC and who it was for, and much of what we talked about was already on Cath’s mind, but she was also curious about how I’m able to read that much with everything else that I’ve got going on and thought that it’d be a good discussion for a lot of people. So we jumped on the phone and talked about effective reading and learning strategies and what the real benefit of it is.
Cath ended up making some changes to the Bottom-line Book Club, and, while I’ve always thought it was an awesome program, I think it’s now much clearer what you’ll get out of it. You can join one of two membership programs that give different levels of information – this’ll help you get what you need without getting overwhelmed by how much is already there. If you’d rather just get the Bottom-line for a particular book, you can do that, too. This is a great resource for coaches and people really into the personal development since you can integrate the different perspectives when you share the insights with others.
I’ve already mentioned that you get content from Cath and either the author or an expert, but you also get emails from Cath that help you integrate the ideas from the Bottom-lines. You might think this would be overwhelming, but the truth is that you really learn by implementing ideas, not just adding them to the stock of stuff you already know. If you’d rather just learn random ideas and not apply them, skip out on this program and pick up Trivial Pursuit, but if you’re interested in learning and growing, then the Bottom-line Book Club is right for you.
I hope you enjoy our discussion of effective reading and learning strategies, and I think you’ll like our discussion on a Whole New Mind, too. It’s the book Cath covers this month, so if you’re interested, run over and check out the Bottom-line Book Club.
The links to the Bottom-Line Book Club in this post are affiliate links and this review falls under my review guidelines. Please sign up for this program by using my link if this review helps you make an informed purchase. Thanks!
Bud Hennekes says
Have you tried Philosophers notes? I absolutely love them.
.-= Bud Hennekes´s last blog ..5 Powerful Lessons I Learned From A Facebook Fast =-.
I hadn’t heard of them, but I checked them out. It seems like a good deal, but I should note that the BLBC is different in that it’s not “Cliff’s notes” in that sense. But, wow, there are a lot of Philosopher’s notes and they’re very reasonably priced. Thanks for sharing with us!
Hi Charlie–I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and I just wanted to say how much I appreciated this podcast. Reading is quite possibly my favorite thing to do, but information anxiety is simultaneously my biggest challenge–it was so helpful hearing how you prioritize and organize your approach to reading. Thanks for the intro to the Bottom-line Book Club, too–what a smart concept!
I’m glad to hear that this podcast helped! I teeter the line you’re talking about, too, and learning to let go of some of the pressures about how much and what I should be reading has helped considerably, and as soon as the overwhelm comes up, I know what questions I need to start asking.
Cath Duncan says
Thanks for your kind review and sharing the BLBC with your readers, and for your fantastic contribution to the BLBC in sharing your thoughts on Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind – I so enjoyed doing the interview with you, and I’ve since had great feedback from members on your interview.
.-= Cath Duncan´s last blog ..How To Do Effective Self-Directed Learning =-.
Rebecca Leigh says
Enjoyed the interview Charlie!
I was wondering how you go about gathering your list of potentially good reads – as in the list from which you choose what is most interesting / useful / suitable to your purpose.
Do you read reviews in the paper? Online? Look for any new release? Pay attention to Top 100 or Bestseller lists?
I guess I’m asking whether you rely completely on your own filtering to choose from the staggering number of books available, or whether you use other sources to help you hone in on stuff that could be good.
.-= Rebecca Leigh´s last blog ..Failure to launch (when business websites get stuck) =-.
Great question, Bec!
I get my reads from a few sources:
When I come across a book that I haven’t heard from these sources, I’ll normally skim the reviews on Amazon. It’s pretty rare that I buy a crappy book and much more common that I’ll buy too many good books at once. I’m thinking my Kindle will help with the latter.
I tend not to have a structured approach to what’s on my active reading list. If I’m reading too many books at once, I’ll slow the pace. If I don’t want to read anything else about a particular topic, I’ll let it go cool. At the same time, if something is really interesting me, then I’ll start reading another book on that topic when I’m done with the first one.
What a great discussion! I’m glad I stumbled on this. I’ve always thought I had a problem retaining info that I read, but now I see I may just have the wrong approach – and that it’s not bad to have to re-read something, and that not everything on my shelf is something that I’m required to read. *whew!*
I’m glad this helped.
Is it time for you to go through your books and decide what NOT to read? It’ll probably be a welcome change from the overlong list of stuff that you have to read.