Yesterday I wrote about the opportunity to rethink the used book in the digital world. One option I suggested is for the community to create summaries of ebooks and sell them as bundles with the original work. Now I'm thinking about how the summary process could be automated and built into the ereader app.
I recently discovered a Chrome plug-in called CruxLight which highlights the key elements of a web page. If you're pressed for time and just want to quickly scan the page CruxLight helps you out by highlighting the important pieces and providing a list of keywords.
Is the technology perfect? Of course not. Will it improve over time? Absolutely, whether it's CruxLight or some other service. And if this works for web pages why can't it be a viable option for longer works, like ebooks?
This is exactly the type of functionality someone like B&N should look to integrate with their Nook devices and apps. It's a way of distinguishing themselves from Amazon and everyone else. I can see the headline:
Nook, now with automatic ebook summaries to shorten your reading time
Customers who don't want to use it can easily turn it off. But those who warm up to it are likely to buy and read more ebooks faster than they ever have before. Sounds like a win-win to me.