Although being an avid reader, I’ve never thought about writing down what I’ve read. Instead, I just reread books just in case. A few years ago, I started to think about writing a blog to document my reading journey. At first, I tried using mind mapping technique from Tony Buzan—which was time-consuming, and not that effective. It took weeks to create detail map of one book, and you can’t revise on mobile. So I gave up after a few books.

Knowing the fallacy of our mind, I knew I had to write them down, but kept procrastinating for years. Then COVID-19  happened.

Using principles in How to Take Smart Notes, I started writing with a few principles in my mind:

  • Write with my own words, not just paraphrasing the authors in book summaries 
  • Create an “external memory” that I can revise anytime on my phone, hence WordPress.org and Notion.so.
  • Organize my knowledge about game design, user experience, learning, parenting, psychology, history, language, literature,… to find gaps…
  • Expand my perspective , challenge my perceptions to build better mental models about the world.


With those in mind, this site serves as my external memory for my future self (and my daughter).

For summaries, I tried to distill every book in under 10 minutes for future revisions, the better the book, the longer the summary.

  • must read, multiple times
  • should read at least once
  • there are better books, and life is too short
  • skip it for your sanity
  • avoid it like plague
I also use a lot of spoiler in my summaries for two reasons
  • Be able to skim summaries quickly
  • Actively recall will enhance memory thanks to testing effect 

I will try to incorporate spaced-repetition  into this site in the future.


My hand writing is barely readable, so I use WordPress with GeneratePress theme, Elementor as editor (which is bloated) and UberMenu 3 for menu. For optimization, I used WP Rocket, Imagify and Autoptimize. I also hosted Google Source & Fontawesome locally. For content plugin, I mostly used Shortcodes Ultimate for formating, Fixed TOC for table of content, and Tufte CSS for sidenotes.

For my workflow, I also use some other tools: Highlighted.app for capturing paper books and notes, Readwise.io for synchronizing digital notes to Notion.so, my personal knowledge management system.


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