Blinkist Review: A Comprehensive Look to Your 15-Minute Reading Fix

Mobile Apps

The advent of smartphone technology has led us to a fast-paced world. It gets to the point that even reading books can be done for a short time. In fact, Blinkist does just that. They claim that it has condensed most of the famous nonfiction books for a faster reading experience while maintaining their essence. Is this claim even real? We’ll reveal in this Blinkist review if it lives up to that guarantee.

 

What Is Blinkist?

blinkist logo
Photo by Blinkist from The App Store

Unless you are living under a rock, you should have an idea what an ebook is. But just in case you haven’t heard or seen an ebook yet, it’s basically a kind of book that can be read on any electronic devices such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. These ebooks are usually converted from their physical format and digitized so that it can be read on your device. Just like an ordinary paperback, an ebook contains text and images.

Also read: Best Android eBook Readers Of All Time

Many ebook libraries carry tons of books from different genres and Blinkist is just one of those library apps. What sets Blinkist is that it condenses your favorite reading materials that you would normally take days to finish into a 15-minute summary format. Their books are carefully abridged for those bookworms in a hurry. Blinkist aptly calls these condensed books “Blinks.” This service is quite unique especially if you only get to read your books in your free time.

However, you won’t be able to find the world’s best novelists in Blinkist as they only offer non-fiction materials. If you are a student who needs to do a quick reading before an exam, you might benefit from this app. You can read all the materials directly from the app but you can also transfer them on your Kindle for on-the-go reading. There are audiobooks available on the app as well.

Download Blinkist for Android

Download Blinkist for iOS

 

How Much Is Blinkist Premium?

blinkist pricing
Screengrab from Blinkist’s website

Now, let us go to the price range of their subscription service. Blinkist offers a free Basic reading service for those who want to try Blinkist first. This entitles you to a free “Daily Reads” — a book that you can only read on that day. This perk does not accumulate if you have missed a Daily Reads book. If you want to borrow more books, you need to subscribe to their library service.

You can subscribe to their premium services either on a monthly or yearly basis. Their monthly premium service is priced at $14.99. Meanwhile, their yearly premium subscription service is priced at $89.99. This accounts for $7.49 per month, saving you 50% on your subscription. This comes with a seven-day free trial so you can explore Blinkist with no strings attached.

With your subscription comes a lot of perks like access to all ebook and audiobook titles under Blinkist, offline reading, highlighting of favorite quotes, syncing Evernote note-taking app, and sync your progress on Kindle.

 

How Many Books Does Blinkist Have?

blinkist categories
Screengrab from Blinkist’s website

Blinkist offers tons of content from ebooks to audiobooks. Most of their catalog contents are focused on nonfiction. This means their books consist of topics that are extracted from factual scenarios like historical events or life choices.

Blinkist has over 4,500 nonfiction titles under its helm. This count is said to be continually growing. Currently, Blinkist offers the following categories on their nonfiction library:

  • Biography & Memoir
  • Career & Success
  • Communication Skills
  • Corporate Culture
  • Creativity
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship & Small Business
  • Health, Fitness & Nutrition
  • History
  • Management & Leadership
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Mindfulness & Happiness
  • Money & Investments
  • Motivation & Inspiration
  • Nature & Environment
  • Parenting
  • Personal Growth & Self-Improvement
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Productivity & Time Management
  • Psychology
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Science
  • Sex & Relationships
  • Society & Culture
  • Technology & the Future

The app’s user interface (UI) is pretty straightforward, thus accessing your titles will be easy. Just in case you don’t know the right title for you yet, there are tabs that you can scroll on that contains recently added and most popular books on its platform. This will then lead you to the must-read or must-listen books that you will surely enjoy.

They also have “Shortcasts” that highlights the important notes on podcasts. Blinkist is not plagiarizing podcasters for they are collaborating with podcasters. This allows them to snip the significant points made on every podcast a podcaster makes.

 

Blinkist Borrowing Policy

blinkist art
Screengrab from Blinkist’s website

Blinkist lets you access all of their Blinks anytime, anywhere. Since these books are condensed and summarized, you can possibly read four books in a matter of one hour. You are therefore allowed to borrow and read as many books as possible.

There’s also an option to buy your desired audiobook from them. The price will depend on what audiobook you want to purchase. Also, you won’t need to renew your subscription with Blinkist if ever you’ve cut your subscription with them. Your purchased audiobooks will be stored on your file forever.

 

Offline Availability

Traveling abroad? Blinkist can help you with entertaining yourself. You can download your Blinks offline so that you can read your books even if you’re not connected to the Internet.

Make sure first that you are connected to an Internet source. To download a book for offline reading, just add a Blink to your library. This Blink will be automatically saved for offline reading.

 

Other Features

blinkist features
Screengrab from Blinkist’s website

Blinkist has more features that are nifty, especially if you use multiple apps for your reading pleasure. This app can be integrated with Evernote and Kindle. Highlighting that important quote is easy, thanks to its highlight function that syncs with Evernote. Now, you won’t forget that powerful line that can serve as your inspirational quote.

Those who read within the Kindle app can also read or listen to their Blinks on the app itself. This is more of a preference if you want your books in just one ebook reader app. You need to set up your Blinkist to your Amazon account first to add books to your Kindle. Here are the steps for the initial setup of your Kindle:

  1. Go to the website of Blinkist, then open Settings.
  2. Find the Connected Service tab, then tap on Connect on Kindle Connect to add your email used on your Kindle app.
  3. Once the Amazon website opens, go to your Amazon account and proceed to Manage Your Content and Devices.
  4. Go to the Settings and find the Personal Document Settings.
  5. Tap on the Approved Personal Document E-mail List. Click on Add a new email address, then type kindle@blinkist.com. This email will be added to the list of Approved Document Senders.

The Blinks will be added to your Kindle library once you prompt the action on the Blinkist app. To add your Blinks to Kindle, follow these steps:

  1. Open Blinkist, then search for the book that you want to add to your Kindle.
  2. Tap on the three-dot icon under the book, then tap Send-to-Kindle.

 

Blinkist Review: Is It Worth Your 15-Minute Reading Experience?

Reading a 500-page book in under 15 minutes is a dream come true for bibliophiles out there. Blinkist promises that experience within their platform. But does it capture the whole experience of reading a full book? Do their Blinks help you completely reflect on what you have read?

We shall skim on the pros and cons of Blinkist. Does reading and listening to Blinks worth it?

blinkist books
Screengrab from Blinkist’s website

Pros

Here are some of the good points of Blinkist that makes it a great library service app:

1. Easy-to-Grasp Points

Love science but can’t grasp the theory you’re trying to understand? Blinkist can help you fully comprehend the message of the book you are reading by summarizing it. This helps you read more books, thus saving time and energy.

2. Suitable For Those On-The-Go

When you have tons of workload to do and can’t find any time to read, Blinkist can be of great help. Their catalog ranges from 10 to 25-minute reads. You won’t need to devote even an hour to read your desired books. This lessens the pressure on your precious time and you can now focus on tasks that need to be accomplished first.

3. Minimalistic User Interface

Blinkist greets you with a clean, stylized user interface (UI). It displays your books in your library directly without any hitch. Blinkist has an intuitive interface so you can easily switch between the text and the audio format of your books.

4. Huge Collection of Nonfiction Books

Blinkist boasts a large collection of nonfiction books under its helm. Currently, it has over 4,500 titles in its library with different topics from philosophy, psychology, politics, and religion to careers, business, and even relationships. You won’t get easily bored with the number of books you’ll read or listen to.

 

Cons

ebook vs book
Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

While Blinkist is a great app for speed-reading, it also has its gripes. Here are some of Blinkist’s points for improvement:

1. Only Limited to Nonfiction Books

If you want to read or listen to the whole Game of Thrones series, Blinkist does not have that in their library. Blinkist currently offers Blinks on nonfiction books only. This is more of a preference since factual events or life advice can be summarized to get the point across. To be fair with fictional books, it should capture the imagination of their readers. Imagination cannot be simply condensed for the reading experience will surely not be whole. That is why Blinkist doesn’t have any fictional books within their turf.

2. Blinks Can Miss Some Vital Information

Its advantage can also be its downfall. A Blink is basically a book summary. This means that some information from the summarized book can be missing, thus it does not capture the whole message of the book. This is vital especially for those who want to get a full picture of the book they’re trying to read. Given this idea, Blinks are therefore just a glimpse of the book itself. Read the actual book itself if you want to acquire the whole message of the book.

3. Condensed Message Can Be Misunderstood

As already mentioned above, Blinks are considered book summaries. With vital information missing, the message of a Blink can sometimes be twisted. This will lead to misinformation and thus the idea you acquire may be twisted as well. Again, a reminder: if you want to get the whole point of the book you’re reading from Blinkist, read the whole book itself.

 

Blinkist Alternatives

Blinkist may have a vast library of Blinks in its platform, but its $15 per month price tag may be a little bit too much for some. Or you might find its free version too limiting. If you still want to read book summaries but on a limited budget, here are other options for you:

 

Instaread

instaread website
Screengrab from Instaread’s website

Instaread is perhaps the best Blinkist alternative out there. This app is priced at $8.99 per month, making it more affordable than its bigger rival. They also carry nonfiction titles like religious and political books just like Blinkist. They also have the so-called “Instaread Originals.” These original articles are portrayals of events, persons, or concepts condensed into bite-sized reads.

If there is one gripe with Instaread, it is perhaps its library size. It only contains over 1,000 titles in its library, which clearly is lacking as compared to its competitors. They add new titles weekly, though, so this is not problematic for casual readers out there.

Download Instaread for Android

Download Instaread for iOS

 

Snapreads

snapreads website
Screengrab from Snapreads’ website

A personalized library is something that we dream of, and Snapreads does just that. Snapreads has personalized book suggestions for your library whenever you finish a book. This will lead you to books that are suited to your liking. Snapreads also has the same precise summaries as Blinkist, therefore giving the same reading experience as the latter.

Its price tag may not be worth it for those who like a vast choice of books. With just over 600 books in its library, you might find its $14.99 per month price tag to be over the top. You might want to stick with Blinkist if you are that thrifty bookworm. Moreover, this app is also not available on Android.

Download Snapreads for iOS

 

StoryShots

storyshots app
Screengrab from Google Play Store

Ever heard of a “video book?” No, we’re not talking about movies, but StoryShots has those kinds of books. This app is adaptable for every learning ability of every person. You can either listen, read, or watch the book summary with this app. This is great especially if you are not in the mood for reading. It is also more affordable at $2.49 per month. With this subscription, you’ll get offline reading and the full version of your books. There is also a limited-time lifetime subscription with this app. It is currently priced around $20, which is a steal for the ever-growing library.

Its free version is something to be raved about, too. You can also watch, listen, and read your book summaries, but expect it contains ads that might ruin your reading experience. Subscribing to a monthly or lifetime plan will remove these pesky ads.

Download StoryShots for Android

Download StoryShots for iOS

 

Verdict

If you’ve got a hectic schedule and can’t find the time to read, Blinkist is the right fit for you. You get to speed-read your nonfiction titles in a matter of minutes. It helps if you want to get a surface understanding of a topic or if you don’t have the luxury of time to read the whole book. It does not mean it can replace full versions of your books, though. Certainly, you can’t compare reading a full book to reading only a book summary.

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