The Power of Book Nuggets



“So many books, so little time.” — Frank Zappa

Just think how many little ideas made a big impact from all the books you’ve read in your lifetime.

I’m guessing a lot.

I am on a continuous hunt for the world’s best insight and action for work and life.

Amazing insights help us do more, be more, and achieve more.

And great books teach us those insights that help us become all that we’re capable of.

At the same time, there are so many great insights are buried within books that too many people haven’t read or know about.  Or they read the book, but some of the key “ah-has” didn’t quite sink in.

How capable would you be if you had the world’s best wisdom at your fingertips?

What is a Book Nugget?

A Book Nugget is a small piece, a nugget, from a book that is useful to know, remember, and apply.

A Book Nugget is a key insight.

A Book Nugget is the idea or concept that you want to remember or use in some way.  It’s an actionable insight that makes you think, feel, or do something better.

Or, it might be a stepping stone idea, where over time, eventually the constellation of ideas helps you connect the dots, and see things in a new way, or understand something for the first time.

A Book Nugget is often profound knowledge.   It can be a non-obvious bit of wisdom, or it might be what appears should be common sense, but helps turn it into action.

Rather than just think about wisdom, we can “do” more wisdom.

Book Nuggets help us do more wisdom.

In general, a good Book Nugget is self-contained.  It’s one idea, or one concept.  It might be a profound idea that represents the synthesis of many little ideas, but the Book Nugget itself represents a sticky idea for your mind.

A Book Nugget Example

For example, in Survive to Thrive, the authors share an approach to defeat Monsters-Under-the-Bed syndrome.

Monsters-Under-the-Bed syndrome is where we let a failure or mistake, start to overtake our thinking.  The shameful event creeps out of control and we let it get bigger, or we blow it out of proportion.  By not addressing it head on, we start to worry about problems that don’t’ actually exist.

The answer is we need to turn the flashlight on and confront the issue directly.

Poof – the monsters under the bed disappear, or we find they were never really there to begin with.

I share this book nugget in Do You Have Monsters Under the Bed Syndrome?

Hopefully, by sharing this Book Nugget, more people will be able to squash their personal monsters.

Exploring for Book Nuggets

As I read a book, I cherry pick ideas that I find are useful, relevant, and actionable.

I explore for Book Nuggets.

I am always asking the question, “How can I use this?”

This helps me get more out of the books I read, and it helps me connect more dots.  It also helps me read information in a deeper way, because I’m using it to solve real-world problems.

This helps turn books from just adventures in the mind, to new adventures in the real-world.

At the same time, by exploring for Book Nuggets, this approach helps me stay curious and lead the life of a life-long learner.

Exploring for Book Nuggets is a way to live and breath continuous learning.

It reminds me of a good Dr. Seuss Book: Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

Test Drive Some Book Nuggets

You can test-drive some Book Nuggets.  I recommend these Book Nugget collections as a good starting point:

For some books, I don’t have a lot of nuggets yet.  For other books, I have quite a few.  I consider these living collections.  As I add nuggets from these books, I’ll update these indexes.   Note that I haven’t listed all the books yet.  I’m still catching up.

Topics for Book Nuggets

There are lots of topics for Book Nuggets.  I tend to focus on the following topics:

  • Body
  • Career/Workplace
  • Emotions
  • Financial
  • Mind
  • Personal Development

If one of my topics gets really large, such as Career/Workplace, then I might carve it up into more narrow topics or categories such as leadership, management, business … etc.

The beauty is that you can take the Book Nugget approach and apply to any domain, and use it as a way to dive deep and build a body of profound knowledge.

Tests for Success

Ultimately, I measure the success of sharing Book Nuggets at Source of Insight against the following:

  • Do you learn new skills that significantly improve the quality of your life?
  • Does the overall collection of Book Nuggets create a powerful knowledge base for personal empowerment?
  • Is each Book Nugget easy to scan or skim?
  • Are you able to implement each action nugget in a practical way?
  • Is each Book Nugget standalone or reusable?
  • Can you find the nuggets you need by browsing by book or topic?
  • Can you find the nuggets you need by searching?

I’m still shaping what success is, but my guiding purpose is to turn the best insights from the best books into action for family, friends and beyond.

What Book Nuggets Do You Want More Of?

If you have ideas or suggestions, send my way.  I’m continuously acting on feedback, testing ideas, and running experiments to see how I can improve the usability of Book Nuggets to transfer more knowledge, more effectively.