Blinkist Review: Book Summaries App

Reading books is one of the major ways to grasp new information and become better educated in some field. However, we have less and less time, and the amount of content is rising with each day. While it’s hard to find time for all the books you would like to read, you can read their summaries. And this is what Blinkist app offers.

Thus, let’s review Blinkist to figure out whether it is worth being on your smartphone and being paid for.

What is Blinkist?

This is an app which offers a library of book summaries. The team picks up the most popular book from different categories (like psychology, health, or business) and distills them into short Blinks – 15-minute written or audio summaries (actually the length varies from 10 to 10 minutes).

Blinkist does summaries of nonfiction books only (literature which is informative or factual rather than fictional).

Recently, the company added podcast insights to its premium subscription.

The company was founded in 2012 and is located in Berlin.

How many books are on Blinkist? 

There are over 4,500 books in the Blinkist library and about 40 new ones are added per month.

Who writes the blinks for Blinkist?

The summaries are written by real writers.

How do I download books on Blinkist?

To download a book, go to the library tab. Then, press on the ‘download audio’ icon.

How does Blinkist work?

Their team takes bestseller lists, user suggestions and uses other sources to figure out which books to summarize. Then, writers distill it into short pieces which are proofread after.

How to use Blinkist app?

After you sign up and download the app, you get access to Blinkist database. To find the summary you want to read, you can browse by category, check new or the most popular titiles.

After you choose the book, you can read it or listen to it directly via the app, or send it to your eBook.

Blinkist Book List

blinkist book list

All the book on Blinkist is united under 27 categories. Those are:

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

Also, you can find the most popular books list.

Here are some examples:

  • Lives of the Stoics (2020) by Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hansel
  • Hood Feminism (2020) by Mikki Kendall
  • Doesn’t Hurt to Ask (2020) by Trey Gowdy
  • The Art of Stopping Time (2017) by Pedram Shojai
  • Intimacy & Desire: Awaken the Passion in Your Relationship (2009) by Dr. David Schnarch

As you see, many of them were recently released.

Additionally, you can check out top book lists by categories.

How much does Blinkist cost?

The monthly pricing is $14.99/month, but if you buy the annual plan, you’ll get 50% off (which means $7.49/month or $89.99/year). 

There is also a 7-day free trial.

Be aware that after a 7-day trial ends, you will be charged for the premium annual plan without being informed.

Blinkist Subscription

Blinkist Free Membership

Blinkist can be used for free but in this mode, you can only read a random book summary (one per day).

blinkist free

Blinkist Premium Plan

Here is what you have with this plan:

  • Unlimited access to written and audio 4,500+ summaries
  • Insights from podcasts
  • Ability to download titles, sending them to Evernote or Kindle

Should you go for Blinkist?

Pros

  • Fresh nonfiction books. There are many books from 2020, and the book list kept updated each month.
  • Audio formats. You can listen to summaries from anywhere.
  • Insights from podcasts. They have recently added this feature where you can 
  • User-friendly interface. The app is easy to use.

Cons

  • Some summaries are not accurately fact-checked.
  • Issues with a refund. Some users face difficulties when asking for a refund.
  • Some recent top non-fiction books are missed in the app.

Is Blinkist worth it?

There are some drawbacks but generally, this app is good value for money. However, I would advise using it as not a replacement for original books but as a way to find the most useful for yourself and read them afterward. This way, you will save your time and get a maximal value.

Moreover, beware of the free trial – keep track when it ends, otherwise, you would be charged, even if you don’t want to proceed with buying a Blinkist subscription.

Blinkist Alternative

Instaread vs Blinkist

Instaread is also an app that provides 15-minute book summaries, in a text or audio format. They have both fiction and nonfiction books, and also articles from sources like The New York Times or Harward Business Review. All in all, they have over 1000 books.

As you can see, their list of summaries is more diverse but smaller.

A monthly subscription by Instaread costs $8.99/month and a yearly costs $89.99/year. Thus, the annual price is the same in Instaread and Blinkist.

getAbstract vs Blinkist

GetAbstract is also a summary provider with over 20,000 text and audio abstracts on its database. Each summary is 10 minutes long. They have both fiction and nonfiction books, and the nonfiction summaries are grouped under quite similar categories as on Blinkist. 

They have two pricing options, a cheaper one for EUR 99/year with access to 5,000 summaries (and limited features) and EUR 299/year with access to 20,000 summaries.

7.5 Total Score
Decent app

Good app for reading or listening to non-fiction books summaries

PROS
  • Fresh nonfiction books
  • Audio formats
  • Insights from podcasts
  • User-friendly interface
CONS
  • Some summaries are not accurately fact-checked
  • Issues with a refund
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