Blinkist Review: Summarized Books for a Fast-Paced Human

Blinkist Review

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Smart successful people have always associated their growth with reading. Reading helps you learn new stuff and as a byproduct, keeps you sharp.

Billionaires like Mark Cuban and Warren Buffet have been quite vocal and have always flaunted their reading habits. But in today’s fast-paced lifestyle people seldom tend to carve out some time dedicated to reading.

If you are unable to chalk out some time solely towards reading, you have to find out ways to incorporate learning while you are carrying out other day-to-day activities.

And this is where Blinkist fits in perfectly. Yes, you might be wondering “How can I read while I am working on my chores or doing some other activity?”

Well, Blinkist promises you just that and then some more.

In this Blinkist review, you would learn about its features and how you can make the most out of this wonderful app.

We would also list down some alternatives to this app and would compare how this app stands against its competitors.

Let’s get started.

What is Blinkist?

Blinkist is predominantly a mobile application available on android and IOS platforms. You can also log into their website to avail their services. 

It is an educational application and lets you read and listen to short versions of nonfiction literature.

What is Blinkist

Blinkist has over 4,500 best-selling nonfiction books which are boiled down to its bare essentials. That means you need not have to read through these books at length.

Thanks to Blinkist, you can get a summarised crux of the available titles or listen to it.

Each book is converted to bite-sized summaries which you can either read or listen to. So if you want to read a book that would have taken you at least 10 to 20 hours to go through, now with Blinkist you can go through it within 15 minutes.

How Blinkist Works

If you thought summarising a book to a 15-minute read was saving you time, then wait until you start listening to them.

You can listen to your favorite non-fiction books while you are on the move. So you can listen to the summary of the latest motivational nonfiction while you are caught in the traffic or while doing your chores, or cooking.

In short, it allows you to learn on the move.

While reading your summaries you can highlight or save the summarized transcript (also referred to as Blinks) so that you can refer to it later.

With the Blinkist premium, you can share your Blinks to Kindle and sync with Evernote too.

That’s not all, Blinkist has teamed up with podcast creators and provided mini short 15 minutes podcast episodes known as Shortcasts.

This allows you to utilize every chunk of your spare time and invest it in reading.

How cool is that!!

Can you read full books on Blinkist?

Blinkist is a book summary service. You can only read summaries of non-fiction and listen to an audio version of it.

You won’t be able to read a full version book on Blinkist. But you can check for an audiobook version of the same, and listen to the whole version.

How does Blinkist work?

To give you a clear picture of Blinkist let me give you a walkthrough of the app right from installation.

Depending on your device preference go to the Google Play App Store or the iOS Store to download your copy of Blinkist on your smartphone or tablet.

I downloaded the application on an Android device.

blinkist select the genre of books

After installing the application you can select the genre of books you want to listen to or read. And that’s about it.

After installation, you can start reading and listening to your summarized books right away.

Blinkist Homepage

When you are on the home page you would get blink recommendations based on your reading habits and other books that you recently read or listened to.

You can also see the latest Blinks which were added.

Blinkist Catalogue

From the explorer section, you can filter out Blinks, Shortcasts, or Audiobooks based on categories or search them based on title, topic, or author name.

When you click on a book, you can see a short description of the book and a brief moral. You can also see the total time required to complete the summarized version of the book.

Blinkist Book Features

Mostly all the books are divided into different sections and multiple blinks. This helps you jump to a particular section or start from where you had left off.

You can like a book, add it to your favorite list or even download a copy for offline reading or listening.

Blinkist Book listening

When you start listening to your book, you can change the reading speed, skip 15 seconds back or forward, and even set a timer for auto-stop.

You can listen to your Blinks when you locked your phone or are using some other app (unless and until the other app doesn’t require the use of an audio channel).

The auto-stop feature is very helpful if you are listening to a book while you are about to sleep. These are all the options you would get. 

Blinkist auto-stop feature

If reading is your thing, simply minimize and pause the player, and you can start reading the summarized version. 

Blinkist Reading Features

You can change the font size of the reader, highlight key points and save it for future referral purposes. To switch back to the audio player, click on the headphone icon on top and you would be taken to the audio player.

If you are a fan of podcasts, you are surely going to love the brief, concise yet impactful version of Shortcasts.

Each Shortcast is roughly 15 to 20 minutes long and unlike their beefier podcast predecessors, you are more likely to finish one in a single seating. 

Shortcasts

Did you love the last episode of your Shortcast? Want to listen to more episodes of the host?

Then you should follow the Shortcast and every time a new episode is launched, you would be notified.

Apart from book summaries and Shortcasts, Blinkist also provides you the option to listen to audiobooks. If you have a topic or book in mind which you want to go through in-depth then you should listen to an audiobook.

Blinkist audiobooks

But just one catch. To listen to an audiobook, you have to pay for it. But if you are a Blinkist premium member you can avail certain discounts during audiobook purchases.

Blinkist My Library

The My library tab helps you keep a tab of your journey in Blinkist.

Under this section, you can see all the books Shortcasts you have finished and the audiobooks you have listened to.

You can even see all the saved and downloaded items under this section.

Blinklist provides you a lot of different sharing options. You can use the social sharing widget to share your favorite links over any social media platform.

How much does Blinkist cost?

You can use Blinkist for free for a trial period of 7 days, after that you have to bear a premium subscription Blinkist cost.

During the trial period, you would not have complete access to Blinkist library and can only access one pre-selected book per day.

Blinkist cost

Blinkist has over 4500 Blinks spread across 27 different categories. In order to access all the available material, you have to opt for a premium plan.

You can enroll in an annual premium plan for $49.99 at $4.17 per month.

Otherwise, you can also opt for a monthly plan for $7.99 per month. You can switch between plans once the currently active plan ends. 

The premium plan has its perks. You would have unlimited access to over 4,500 best-selling nonfiction titles.

Premium users can even listen to Shortcasts, download titles for offline access, and share highlighted notes to Evernote and Kindle.

Premium subscription also lets you access audiobooks at a discounted price.

Blinkist Alternatives

Now to level out the playing field, let’s look at few Blinkist alternatives.

1. StoryShots  

StoryShots

StoryShots is a well-known book summary service. It has earned itself quite some accolades from The Guardian, Apple, and the United Nations.

It has over 400+ best-selling non-fiction books whose summaries you can read, listen to, or even watch. It lets you highlight insightful quotes from books and save them for referring later.

You can install StoryShots on your Android or iOS device from their respective play stores. With StoryShots, you can even read titles in 18 different languages.

Pricing – StoryShots is a free app. But it provides in-app purchase options, like summarized audiobooks and family sharing capabilities.

2. Instaread 

Instaread

Instaread is yet another book summary service that lets you read and listen to book summaries.

But wait, Instaread is much more than that. Instead lets you read non-fiction from different categories, fictions, and even articles from New York Times and Harvard Business Review.

You can access these summaries and listen to them on your Android and Apple devices or through a web browser. 

Pricing – You can use Instaread on a trial period of 7 days for free. After that, you can either subscribe for a monthly subscription of $8.99 per month or a yearly subscription of $89.99 per year. 

3. Snapreads 

Snapreads

Snapreads boasts a collection of over 600  nonfiction summaries that you can read or listen to. It curates old classics as well as recent publications.

Its unique selling point would be its auto-recommendation capabilities. Snapreads can interpret the type of summaries you are reading or listening to and recommend similar books that are most likely to appeal to you.

Their app development team is quite active and provides updates and bug fixes to improve the application and make it even better.

Pricing – You can use Snapreads for free on a trial basis for 7 days. After the trial period, you can choose from a monthly subscription of $14.99 or a yearly subscription of $89.99

Which is better Audible or Blinkist?

Comparing Audible to Blinkist is like comparing apples to oranges. They both cater to bibliophiles in their own suave way. 

As we mentioned in this Blinkist review earlier, it has over 4500 non-fictions that you can read and listen to, a nice collection of summarized podcasts created by renowned hosts, and audiobooks that you can buy.

Audible on the other hand focuses only on audiobooks and podcasts. With Audible you can also listen to Audible originals where reputed individuals from their respective fields share their wisdom with you.

Audible is all about auditory pleasure. You can listen to whole podcasts and enjoy a full audiobook version of fiction, non-fiction, or other literary creation.

If you are looking for summarized versions of books this is not the right platform for you. Also, you cannot read any of the books listed here, you can only listen to them. This means, while listening to 1984 on Audible, you can’t highlight your favorite quotes by Winston.

Now let’s look at the flipside.

Audible has over 300,000 audiobooks. Which is roughly 100 times the number of books listed in Blinkist.

Also with the right membership, you can listen to any of the audiobooks that your plan eligibles you, and you can use Audible monthly credit to listen to any 1 audiobook of your choice per month.

If you don’t like it, you can return the audiobook and the credit would be given back to you. After you have listened to an audiobook, you can listen to it even after your Audible membership expires.

Audible subscription starts from $7.95 per month which is evenly matched with Blinkist.

So the question is not which of these two applications are better?

The question you should ask is what are your expectations?

If you are looking for a book summary service that you can listen to or read, then Blinkist is the right choice for you.

If you want to capture the true essence of an audiobook and don’t want it to be concise, then you should settle with Audible.

Is Blinkist Worth The Money?

Now that you have gone through the Blinkist app review, here’s my two cents.

Pros

  • Blinkist is an app that summarizes books, and the summaries or Blinks are apt and to the point. When it comes to non-fiction and self-help books, summaries can help you get to the gist quickly. Also, you can listen to them while you are driving, jogging, or attending to some chores.
  • They have over 4000 titles and they keep adding 30 new titles every month. So repeatability won’t be a concern for you.
  • If you are a premium member, you can highlight Blinks and sync them to Evernote. You can even transfer them to Kindle for reading later on. This feature is really good and Blinkist deserves way more cookie points than it gets. If you like a title and feel it can be beneficial for your kids or other members of your family or friends, you can directly share the blink to their Kindle. 
  • Shortcasts or summarized podcasts are also one-of-a-kind service which people in a hurry can appreciate.

Cons

  • During the trial period, you can use Blinkist for free for 7 days. In these 7 days, you can only read or listen to one Blink preselected by them. For a bibliophile who is just getting introduced to the concept of summarized book services, a 7-day trial that too for one book seems harsh. 
  • I found Blinkist audiobooks to be a bit expensive.

My Suggestion

You cannot expect Blinkist to cater to all your literary demands. You should use Blinkist along with other mediums to level up your information intake. I would suggest you use Blinkist for going through nonfiction book summaries. 

If you don’t want to endure Robert Jordan’s lengthy description of wood burning in a fireplace in The Wheel of Time or any other fiction and want to get to the crux of it, Instaread would be the right app for you.

Personally, when it comes to fiction,  I’d suggest you stick to audiobooks or the complete version if you want to savor it and want to develop a character or scene at your own pace.

If you are not impressed by the audiobook library or the price associated with it, you can check out Audible. But I’d suggest you take a different road and check out Spotify. Yes, you can thank me later.

FAQs

Can I use Blinkist with Alexa?

Yes, you can integrate Blinkist with your Alexa-powered systems. Once you have signed into Blinkist and linked Alexa to it, you would be able to listen to your Blinks on Alexa devices.

Can I access Blinkist on my computer?

Yes, to access Blinkist on your computer, just open a browser, navigate to the Blinkist website and sign in with your credentials. After signing in you would be able to read and listen to Blinks, Shortcasts, and audiobooks.

Can I read Blinks offline?

Any recent Blinks that you have read would be available offline. To explicitly access Blinks and Shortcasts offline, you can download them and save it on your mobile device.

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