My Reading Workflow

This post shows how to build a reading workflow that allows you to extract summaries from books you’ve read to further work with the ideas in them.


Be able to read any book digitally and process its most important ideas to never forget them



  1. Create a personal library of epubs
  2. Read epubs on mobile devices
  3. Take highlights while reading to construct a summary of the book
  4. Import highlights into knowledge management system
  5. Work with the summarized books and connect ideas

Step by Step

Import epubs into Calibre

Upload epub to PlayBooks for reading


Clean up highlights with this Google Colab Python script

Copy file ID from Google Document g2

Run the script with your file ID to get extracted text file g3

Import into note-taking / knowledge management (here shown using Obsidian)

Paste raw text

Recreate headings and insert images / figures. Re-highlight the summary to create an even more condensed version for fast re-reading. Optionally, write some metadata

o2m o3m

Example of an interconnected book

Josh Kaufman - The Personal MBA


  1. In PlayBooks, there is no way to highlight images and figures directly. Make sure to highlight the caption (Figure 3.1: This graph shows XYZ…) if there is one, to find where to insert the missing figure later in your knowledge management system ↩︎