Reading 370 summarized books over 17 months - My thoughts on Blinkist
After trying out the book summary service for 17 months I’d like to share my thoughts. I tried the free aspects of the service. Nothing was paid. This experience essentially entails 1 random picked book by the staff each day over 17 months.
What is going on? What is Blinkist?
Blinkist is a book summary service that tries to summarize popular non fiction books. Often down to 10 – 15 minute summaries. It is available on mobile phones and as a web app. It costs money to have unlimited access to their library, around $80 USD per year at the time of the writing. I have not paid anything and enjoyed the free aspect so far. Which entails 1 free summarized staff selected book per day.
Is Blinkist good at summarizing books?
Yes and no. The service genuinly gives it a good attempt at summarizing 200-300 page books. It tries to condense the contents into key messages often like: “Know the various factors that can slow or stop your project.” or “Despite being vital for both personal and societal prosperity, we receive no training in financial intelligence.” which become headlines of a blink (page). A summarized book often has 6 – 10 blinks (pages).
Does Blinkist have a good library of books?
Yes, in fact many New York Times best sellers can be found here. Many Amazon-popular-selling books are here as well. But beware, there are no fiction books. So no Nineteen Eighty-Four or Lord of the Flies.
Are there advantages over using something like Blinkist over the real thing – the paper hardcopy?
Yes and No. The advantage is that your free daily book (selected by staff) is available at your leisure in your pocket anywhere with internet connection. One of the greatest aspects in my humble opinion is to listen to the summarized book and to read along. The narration is authentic and human voiced. And the ability to read along with the narrator genuinly motivates me to keep going. And it makes me feel like I’m reading the book with someone else. Akin to someone who holds my hand and walks me to the finish line. This to me – is sincerely great.
What is your relationship with Blinkist?
Having interacted with Blinkist, the free aspect, for so long now – I have developed a weird bond, where I get a bad conscience if I forget the daily free summarized book that is on offer. It is “there” in the back of my mind waiting to be read. I’ve got to know all the narrators by name over the many months.
The summarized book could be a total lemon / dud. Thankfully every Sunday I receive an email of the upcoming staff picked books for the week. This gives an insight into books that I’m interested in and books I want to skip.
Can you name some of your favourite blinks?
Work in progress
Is this app / service essential for you?
No. You can live just fine without this service. I will say however it is refreshing to encounter new ideas or experiences. Especially in biographies.