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What's your takeaway?

Once I finish reading a book, I should be able to answer that question with ease. Even if the takeaway is simply that I read an entertaining story.

I've been reviewing every book I read on Goodreads for several years now. When I look back at the reviews I write, especially in the last two years when I've transitioned to reading a lot more non-fiction than I used to, I notice a strong correlation between high ratings (4- and 5- stars) and what I had to takeaway from the book.

Often, correlations are just correlations. But, in this case, I know that the high ratings are being caused by what I takeaway from the book. The more I learn from or enjoy reading a book, the higher the rating.


Reviewing a book is a natural check point to ask myself what my takeaway was from reading it, and to see if I'm able to articulate it well.

This makes me think that I should ask that question of other things too, apart from books. Like meetings. And arguments. And worries. And negative thoughts.

If there is no takeaway, then maybe I should start avoiding them.

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