No normal person would ever try to write a “Skinny” book… it’s too darn hard.
Our Skinny Books are compilations of perhaps 50 books or articles on one subject. The objective is to cull from each book/article the most important ideas therein. Then, to try to weave all these ideas into a story that makes some sense and might even have some entertainment value.
Writing skinny books was a reaction to my belief that no self-improvement book should ever be more than 100 pages. That is more than enough space to convey the meat of the author’s ideas. Anything longer and readers don’t engage.
My view is supported by several studies which show that people learn best FROM SUMMARIES. Give one group a 20-page explanation of a subject or phenomenon. Then, give another group a 2-page summary. And, EVERY SINGLE TIME the group receiving the summary will have better comprehension of the subject at hand.
Actually that is not surprising. We all have a limited amount of “bandwidth” to absorb information. Our brains are not unlike our stomachs. We can only fill the brain with so much before it starts to regurgitate. So, less is DEFINITELY more when it comes to comprehension and learning.
Also, what is a summary but the culling of the important points from a longer exposition? In other words, the person writing the summary has to do the hard work. Read the exposition and figure out what is really crucial to know and then convey ONLY THAT.
That is the theory behind the skinny books. To give people just the information they need to know on a particular subject. If a person is so intrigued that they want to learn more, all our books have bibliographies with all the referenced material.
So, why did I start writing Skinny Books? Well, I thought I would create a series of great, simplified, easy-to-understand content that could be read in one hour and would have the impact of 25 books or articles. Let me leave you with a story. One of the greatest judges in US legal history was Oliver Wendell Holmes. In writing a friend one day, he said “sorry for the length of this letter … it would have been much shorter if I had more time.”