Gini Dietrich

A Business Book Reading Tool

By: Gini Dietrich | November 16, 2011 | 

I love to read. When we were kids, we had one tiny B&W TV and my parents let us watch only 30 minutes a day.

So, while my brothers were outside making toys out of scrap wood, I had my nose stuck in a book.

I love to read so much, in fact, I majored in English literature in college. A degree I knew I’d be able to do nothing with, but they say follow your passions, right?

As I’ve gotten older and moved toward doing this crazy thing called running two businesses, it’s been more and more difficult to read.

Sure, I still read, but I also have a little help for business books.

That help?


My friend Steve Cunningham created this site a couple of years ago in order to help busy executives stay on top of all of the really good business books out there.

The site takes you through a process:

  1. About the book
  2. Learn from the book, which includes a video or a PDF, which you can chose based on how you learn
  3. Experience the book, which includes a workbook of things you will learn from the book
  4. Memorize the parts of the book you’ll use in your jobs…in just 15 minutes
  5. Act on what you’ve learned

You still spend some significant time (I say an hour or two, but they say it can be done in 10 minutes) with each book, but it’s like super-amped Cliff’s Notes for busy people.

And the books aren’t shabby, either. They’re books such as Brains On Fire, Crush It, Engage, Steve Jobs, and Moneyball.

There are several pricing plans for the site, from free and up. The free membership gives you only a summary of the book, but for $30 you can have everything I describe above.

That said, Steve has graciously offered to let Spin Sucks readers try it for free.

If you click here and enter your email address, ReadItForMe is yours.

Let me know what you think!

In full disclosure, I get nothing out of this deal…not even a glass of wine (cough, cough Steve!). But you? You get to try a $30 program for free. If you feel like bestowing gifts on me for this, I’ll gladly accept them. My shoe size is 5 1/2. 

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • I fear any shoes that came your way via my generosity would ultimately become a burden rather than an enjoyable gift. Unless of course, you’re a big fan of Rebok pumps. Now those were some classy yet functional sneakers. All the cool kids had them.

    Definitely interested in checking out the site. Thanks, Gini.

    • ginidietrich

      @JamesDBurrell2 I can always use running shoes!

  • You’re childhood sounds a lot like mine. I might be among the last to get a nook or kindle, and I don’t listen to audio books, but THIS sounds like something that I might want to try. Thanks!

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller I love my Kindle. LOVE. Mostly because I travel so much and it’s A LOT lighter than a book.

      • @ginidietrich Oh, I’d love to have one. And I’m sure I’ll adapt well, just like i do with everything else.

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Yes, you’ll adapt very well.

        • @ginidietrich well, now you know what to get me for Christmas!

        • @KenMueller@ginidietrich For $79, you really can’t go wrong. My consumption rate of reading has increased significantly since I got my iPad earlier this year (I use the Kindle app).

  • MeGiantInc

    Great post! I have never heard of this service/site. I’m going to test it out and see how I like it.


    • ginidietrich

      @MeGiantInc Let me know what you think!

  • Heh, small world. I was a literature & history major as an undergrad. Lots of Renaissance and Medieval in my program. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @jasonkonopinski There are really only a few things you can do with a degree like that…

      • @ginidietrich Don’t I know it. My graduate work was in cultural studies which dovetails very nicely with social media, community building/management and web anthropology. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @jasonkonopinski What did you want to do with that degree…before you realized you’d make no money?

        • @ginidietrich Academia.

        • ginidietrich

          @jasonkonopinski Why didn’t you do that?

        • @ginidietrich I did for a few years when I was wrapping up my graduate work; the level of entitlement coming from first-year students was enough to sour me completely on teaching full-time. I’d happily pick up an adjunct appointment though for one or two courses per semester.

      • @ginidietrich Fun Fact: I can still recite the first 25 lines of Chaucer’s General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English from memory.

        • @jasonkonopinski Impressive. I was an English and graphic design double major, then decided to pursue the MFA in creative writing. I thought those things would help me to find a job… @ginidietrich

  • Hi Gini… very excited to give this a try! I love reading. I always have a book with me. If there’s down time, I like to be reading. I think I’m finally going to be jumping on the e-reader bandwagon… hoping Santa brings me a Kindle. 🙂 Do you have a particular e-reader you like?

    –Tony Gnau

    • ginidietrich

      @T60Productions I have the Kindle app on my iPad. I love it. I also really like the newstand app on the iPhone. Lots of magazines are read there.

  • I checked this out at your suggestion and I must say this looks like a great service for all of us busy professionals. I mean really, I have had a book sitting on my desk I have been trying to read for two months now. I am finally almost done but geesh, I feel like I could have had it under my belt weeks ago if I just had more time.

    This is a great offer and I think I’ll check it out. Thanks.

    • ginidietrich

      @Anthony_Rodriguez I’m the same way. It takes longer to read business books because we do this all day, every day. For me, when I read, I want it to be something I don’t read during the day.

  • Thank you, I’m excited to try this out! And I thought I had small feet (I’m a 6 1/2)…you take the cake on that one!

    • ginidietrich

      @Cision We can almost share shoes!

  • Okie Dokie.

    Yes the ‘Mr. I don’t read business books’ signed up for this.

    I love how the site also guarantees to lower my Cholesterol. But hey if only the book side of things works I will pay for the premium service!

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM It not only lowers your cholesterol, it makes calories disappear.

  • Steve, give the woman a box of wine and make her happy. 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @TheJackB A box?! A BOX??

      • @ginidietrich Only the finest wines come in a box. Besides, they are much easier to transport while riding a bike. 😉

  • KevinVandever

    Thanks! I will check it out.

    • ginidietrich

      @KevinVandever You’re welcome!

  • You were an English major in college? Me, too!

    I’ll have to investigate this site. I’d like to get some more reading done.

    • ginidietrich

      @Erin F. I knew there was a reason I liked you!

  • This is getting spooky. We both liked Nancy Drew, we both majored in English Lit and we both wear size 5 1/2 shoes. I also used to cycle a lot, but not competitively so I guess that one doesn’t count. Thanks for sharing the ReadItForMe offer. I’ve signed up.

    • @Shelley Pringle Uh…I was a huge Nancy Drew fan in my younger years. I don’t wear size 5 1/2 shoes, and I’m not much of a cycler, though. Phew! 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @Shelley Pringle What about Little House On the Prairie? And what’s the last book you read?

      • @ginidietrich Yup, definitely Little House. All my girlfriends read them in grade 5/6 and we used to act out stories in the playground, each of us playing different characters from the books. In the fiction department, I’m reading Help right now for my book club. In non-fiction: Long Road to Freedom (Nelson Mandela’s autobiography) and What Would Google Do.

        • ginidietrich

          @Shelley Pringle Did you love WWGD?? It made me rethink, entirely, my business model. It’s where Spin Sucks Pro was born. In the back of my notebook while reading that book.

          The Help is soooooooooooooo good. I’m reading Steve Jobs right now, which is really well done. Have you read The Hunger Games series?

        • @ginidietrich I’ve got the Steve Jobs bio on my iPad to read after I finish The Help. I haven’t heard of The Hunger Games. Will definitely check that out.

  • stevecunningham

    Hey Gini – thanks so much for the love here! I think

  • stevecunningham

    Hey Gini – thanks so much for the love here! I definitely owe you a bottle (NOT a box!) of wine.

    Thanks to everybody who signed up, as well. I’d love to hear what you think, and if you have any suggestions for new books to cover, I’m all ears.

    • ginidietrich

      @stevecunningham I have a new book you should cover! Well, it comes out in May. 🙂

      Actually, do you know Humanize by maddiegrant and jamienotter ? I just reviewed it here a couple of weeks ago. It’s very good for business leaders wanting to make their companies more human.

  • stevecunningham

    @imeldadulcichpr I hope you enjoy!

  • Wow! This is so cool. Thanks, Gini, for sharing. I watched a vid tonight and will definitely spread the word to those who will enjoy this, too.

    • ginidietrich

      @joelfortner03 You’ll have to let me know what you think, as you get more into it.

  • JodiEchakowitz

    Thanks for sharing such a fabulous idea. Signed up and can’t wait to try it out. Oh, and by the way, I’m jealous about your shoe size. I think we’re about the same height and my shoe size is a 9 🙁

    • ginidietrich

      @JodiEchakowitz The only advantage to having such small feet is that no one wears my size so my shoes are always on sale.

  • OOOHHH!! Thanks for sharing. Love the link and friends and family discount! Can’t wait to try it out. I am so behind on my business book wish list!

    • ginidietrich

      @EricaAllison I have to figure out how Steve does this…I can’t imagine reading a book a week (or more) and doing the videos and summaries and workbooks too.

  • jennwhinnem

    Thank you Gini! This is great! And thank you Steve!

    Once I learned to read, I didn’t want to do anything else.

    • ginidietrich

      @jennwhinnem I read your comment and I thought it said, “Once I learn to read.” LOL!

  • Why can’t we upload pics here? I had a fabulous pair of size 5 1/2 cheapish white hotel slippers I wanted to send you LOL ;)!

    This is brilliant – thanks Gin. It’s like frickin’ Cliff Notes on crack and then some. I just signed up for the free trial :).

    Where was this reading tool when I was in high school and college?!!!

    • ginidietrich

      @Griddy I think you know how to find me in other locations, smarty pants.

  • maddiegrant

    Wow. You have tiny feet. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @maddiegrant LOL! It’s fun when my nieces get old enough that I can borrow their shoes.

  • maddiegrant

    Soooo…. I get that we’re all busy. But in this time of social media, and blogging, I feel like we write books specifically for the purpose of getting deeper into a subject than we could do through our blogs and tweets and Youtube and Facebook conversations. I know not all books are deep. And I know busy execs have a pile of unread books on their desks (as do I). But, as an author, I’m torn between thinking “well this is cool and could hypothetically get more people interested in the content of my book”, and thinking “but the book is meant to push people and is not about bite-sized snacking or crib notes – I have a blog for that.”

    It makes me feel kinds of sad that people can’t find time to read a book.

    And in other news, I’m exploring sites like Subtext (ipad app) – which are about reading books collaboratively. You read the whole book, electronically, but you share comments and have conversations about very specific pieces of the book with others using the app. We’re talking to the founders about how we could use it for Humanize for group activity around the book (like for one specific org who wants to discuss it).


    • ginidietrich

      @maddiegrant I’m feeling the same way, with a book coming out next spring. It also hurts me that, if you have a Kindle, you can now borrow books without paying for them. So, like you, I’m torn.

      But I also think this kind of stuff creates a huge opportunity for authors to present their material in other ways that make sense for busy people. You and i are in the minority – we still read books. What about everyone else?

      I’m going to check out Subtext…social reading. I like it!

    • 1- subtext sounds awesome 2- it’s like spotify to me. There’s certain artists who I will buy everything they ever come out with, on iTunes, and if I can find their early work on vinyl, I’ll collect it. For your book, I wouldn’t need this – you wrote something Superior that people are going to want to read. But for books I buy but don’t read all of, this would be awesome. Like streaming that one track I love off a CD I’ll never buy. 3- I’m sad about the decline of books too. I still read two a week. Used to be three. Still buy them like crack. And the only reason I look forward to retiring is that I’ll get to read a book Every Day.@maddiegrant

      Think we replaced a lot of the reading some of us used to do offline with what we do online.

    • Oh and I forgot to mention that as a budding author, I feel the same torn feeling. @maddiegrant @ginidietrich

  • I *have* to read the books I care about cover to cover, usually twice – like @maddiegrant ‘s book, which I am 40 pages away from reading a second time. (hello scary-long comment, be there in a sec.) It’s why I became a speed reader. I freaking love books. But I buy WAY more than I could ever read. So for the books that I really just want a summary of, the ones I bought so I could refer to for exercises I’ll be stealing for my workshops? *cough*SELF HELP BOOK ADDICTION*cough

    The ones I would love to read but realize I’ll never have time for? Swoon.

    I also like the point you made about being able to get summaries based on the learning style you have. I have to take notes during presentations. It’s how I absorb. Some think that means I will miss things while I’m writing but there’s a strategy to it – you write when something boring is happening, or just write down the things that impact you SO much you are willing to risk missing the next thing to record that thought.

    No one gets 100% of what they hear anyway, and most people will forget most of what they hear if they don’t get some type of prompting afterwards.

    Then there are people who just can’t get anything out of notes. They have to see visuals, graphics, make video clips. So anyway, love tools that respect this.

    • ginidietrich

      @Tinu I’m the same way – have to read books I care about. But I have plenty of books sitting here that I *should* read, but that will make no difference in my life. So I like tools like this for those kinds of books.