So many books . . .

21 10 2008

If you’re like me, you have floor-to-ceiling shelves and desk-tops full of books, books in stacks on the floor, and others stashed here and there–on the piano bench, in a chair–all awaiting your attention. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone started a reliable service that would not only offer opinions about which ones are worth your time, but also provide concrete examples of why? And, while they’re at it, they could throw in a comprehensive summary. Wouldn’t that be grand?

Well, guess what, kids! If the above paragraph applies to you, then today just may be your lucky day, especially if you’re interested in non-fiction books that address Christian topics.

Solomon Summaries is a brand new online service launched this week by Chris and Heather Goodman. It provides solutions for busy Christians who want to maximize their limited time and increase their awareness of current and classic Christian non-fiction books. This unique subscription summary service provides subscribers with a 10-page summary of a non-fiction book, a review of the book, and group discussion questions every week. These summaries are not intended to replace the content of the entire book but rather to provide a synopsis of the key points. Solomon Summaries encourages dialogue, helps readers decide which books to buy and read, and tickles minds with new ideas and concepts that might warrant further exploration by the reader.

When asked what inspired them to start Solomon Summaries, Chris said he found a growing chasm between the amount of books he wants to absorb and the amount of time available to read them (not so much due to time shrinking, but because there are so many amazing books). In the business world, for years he had access to executive book summary services to glean the latest business wisdom, and he dreamed of something similar for Christian books.

Heather is a writer friend of mine and a kindred spirit. In fact, I still marvel that we aren’t related. She’s funny, whimsical, and is passionate about all things books. As an imaginative, curious person, she loves the idea of raising awareness of what’s out there. In a culture that has adopted “I’m busy” as a standard response to the question “how are you?”, there seems to be an interesting opportunity to engage people in bite-size chunks with the key points from a book on Christian living. Hopefully, this will help readers triage which books they want to look at further.

Also, they want to help lay leaders choose good materials and resources for Sunday school classes, small groups, mentoring relationships, and leadership training and help pastors stay in touch with what’s out there and what their congregations are reading.

As future-thinking people, Chris and Heather have great interest in seeing Solomon Summaries become a platform for engagement and growth. Based on the initial reaction they received from product testers, and how passionately people have shared the idea with their friends, they’re in discussion on a number of additional pieces of the puzzle (what Chris calls the blueprint) to offer value to book readers and small group book discussions. They’d also like to get the authors of the books more involved in the discussion and will be paying close attention to subscribers and their interests. Ultimately it will grow into what people want and need to help them in their lives.

Sound good? You should check them out here! If you decide to join now, you’ll be eligible to receive a year’s subscription to the service for $100 (regular price: $120, ~15% discount), and will be entered into a drawing for a stack of books with your subscription.

If you know anyone in ministry who might be interested in this service, please feel free to forward this post. Also, if you want to read more about Solomon Summaries or Heather and Chris, they will be highlighted throughout the week on the following blogs:

AKA Lewis Theodore
A Peek at My Bookshelf
A Prisoner of Hope
Aspire 2 Blog
Bible Dude
Blame it on the Loud Mouth Gene
Fictionary
Gatorskunkz and Mudcats
Geaux 2 Girl
High Calling Blogs
In.A.Mirror.Dimly
In the Dailies
Leap of Faith
Michelle Pendergrass
Morning Cup of Coffee
One Glory
Portrait of a Writer . . . Interrupted
Relevant Blog
So You Wanna Be Published
The View From Here


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One response

22 10 2008
Anonymous

Thanks so much for hosting us here!
I still think we’re related somehow. I should do a genealogy. Oh, stop me before I say it. No, no. Here it comes. I can’t help myself. I should do a Jeanne-alogy.
Sorry. But I feel much better now.
I wanted to mention that actually, instead of a discount, we’re offering the service completely for free until 12/1/08 so people can browse around and see if they’re interested in it. If you really, really want to give us money, we’ll accept it in December (about the time when I won’t be able to take one more Ramen noodle).
Heather G.

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