Blinkist Review

Reading books is one of the major ways to grasp new information and become better educated in literary any field. However, we have less and less time, and the amount of content we might be interested in is rising 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 the Blinkist app offers.

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

We’d like to answer the main question right away: is Blinkist worth it?

bottom line
Overall, the Blinkist app is good for what it promises. It gives you a huge library of quite accurate book summaries. 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.
8Expert Score
Decent app for book summaries

The app is the leader app for reading or listening to non-fiction books summaries

Let’s take a quick look at Blinkist’s main features and later, we’ll go into the details.

Number of books6500+
Price$14.99/month or $99.99/year
Free versionYes, but with limited choice and one book a day
LanguagesEnglish, German, Spanish
Audio versionsYes
Offline useYes
Reading/listening time10 to 30 minutes
Supported devicesSmartphones (iOS and Android), Desktop, Kindle
InterfaceUser-friendly, seamless accessibility

Now, let’s move to its pros and cons.

Pros
  • Fresh nonfiction books. There are many books from 2023, and the book list is kept updated each month.
  • Audio formats. You can listen to summaries from anywhere.
  • Insights from podcasts
  • User-friendly interface
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 missing in the app.

What is Blinkist?

Blinkist is a subscription service that is focused on providing book content in short chunks of information to save readers time. It is an app that offers a library of book summaries that you can read or listen. The team picks the most popular book from different categories (like psychology, health, or business) and distills them into short Blinks – 10-25-minute written or audio summaries.

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

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

How does Blinkist work?

Blinkist is a service that provides access to its own library of book summaries. The company looks for bestsellers and user suggestions to figure out which books to summarize. Then, writers from the team distill it into short pieces which are proofread after. Currently, the company has over 6500 book summaries on its list but it’s constantly expanding.

You can read or listen to a book summary from your desktop, mobile, or Kindle. To use Blinkist, you need to sign up and then you get access to its library. The basic subscription is free but it’s quite limited. If you want to get unlimited book summaries, you will need to pay for its Premium subscription.

Blinkist features

Let’s see what are the main features available on Blinkist. These are also the sections you can access within the app.

  • My Library. This is the section where you can see your progress, the books you started, finished, or saved.
  • Today’s Free Blink. If you have a free subscription, you’re quite limited with the books you can read. However, every day, Blinkist selects a new book anyone can access for free that will be available in this section.
  • “For You” Section. Before using the app, Blinkist will ask you several questions to identify your interests and preferences. In this section, you will find a personalized selection of book summaries aligned with your interests and chosen categories.
  • Collections. If you struggle to find your next book, Blinkist has different options to help. For example, there is a Trending section to find some popular books. Moreover, there are categories to choose from–like Economics or Health. Finally, there are different collections of books that are groped by some topic.
  • Highlights. In this section, you can see the quotes that you have highlighted. Here you can store and access the most important insights.
  • Blinkist AI. This is a new feature that works similarly to Chat GPT. It helps you find the book based on your input written in a free form.

How to use Blinkist app

After you sign up, you get access to the Blinkist library and features. You can use Blinkist on your desktop or via an app on your mobile. After signing up, you are immediately navigated to your personal account where you can browse its library, get recommendations, and access the summaries to read or listen to them.

Within your account, you will see saved, started, and finished books. You will also get personal recommendations based on the questionnaire during the sign-up step. You just need to find a book you’d like to read and select it. In the process of reading, you can highlight some thoughts to save them to a separate tab. You can also stop reading anytime you want and come back later–the progress is saved.

To find a new book, go to Explore section. You will find popular and latest books there as well as books by categories.

Click on the book title, and you’ll be able to read and listen to it. On the book page, you will also see the main information on the book and how much time it’ll get to read the summary. For instance, here is the page of Atomic Habits, the book by James Clear.

At the bottom of a book page, you will see similar books that will help you make a decision on what to read next.

Who is Blinkist for

The app is for a wide number of people. These groups include:

  • Busy people who want to get new information and thoughts from books regularly but don’t have time for reading full books. This is probably the biggest category of Blinkist customers.
  • People who need to read a lot of new books for their work (e.g. content creators) but are not able to read so many of them quickly.
  • People who are interested in a particular concept or subject but are not sure they are interested enough to read a full book.
  • People who like paper books but first want to listen to/read a short version of them before finding the right one to invest.
  • People who easily get excited about new things but easily get bored. They might not feel motivated enough to read each book till the end, but you will easily be able to fast-read it with a 15-minute summary.

Who should not use Blinkist?

At the same time, there are people who might not find Blinkist beneficial and worth paying for.

  • People who prefer reading fiction books–Blinkist simply doesn’t have such literature on their list.
  • People who enjoy reading, who like to read slowly and mindfully, highlighting important points and writing down quotes from books.

Blinkist Book List

All the book on Blinkist is united under 27 categories. Here are some of them,:

  • Science
  • Economics
  • Personal Development
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Management & Leadership
  • Mindfulness & Happiness
  • Health, Fitness & Nutrition

However, the majority of books are on self-development.

Also, you can find the most popular books list. Additionally, you can check out top book lists by categories.

Here are some examples of books you can find on Blinkist:

  • Stolen Focus (2022) by Johann Hari
  • Scarcity Brain (2023) by Michael Easter
  • The Art of Clear Thinking (2023) by Hasard Lee
  • The 5 AM Club (2018) by Robin Sharma
  • Leading without Authority (2020) by Keith Ferrazzi with Noel Weyrich
  • Gamification for Business (2018) by Sune Gudiksen, Jake Inlove

On Blinkist, you can find a lot of the latest books published in 2023. You can add your book suggestions here; then, other people will vote for the suggested books.

Blinkist cost

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

If you want to get unlimited access, you need to go for a premium subscription. How much is Blinkist premium? Here you will have two options, monthly or annual payment. Blinkist premium costs $15.99 per month if billed monthly or $79.99 if billed annually.

  • The monthly pricing is $15.99/month
  • The annual plan is $79.99 (which means $6.67/month)
  • Interestingly, when we did this review last year, the annual cost was higher, $99.99/year, while its library was 5,500 (now 6,500).

There is also a 7-day free trial but only if you opt for an annual plan.

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

Here is what you have with the premium subscription:

  • Unlimited access to written and audio 6,500+ summaries
  • Insights from podcasts
  • Ability to download titles, sending them to Kindle

You cannot switch from the annual to monthly subscription before your annual plan ends.

Blinkist app reviews

Blinkist apps are rated quite high: 4.8 (106.1K reviews) on App Store and 4.6 on Google Play (92.4K reviews). Let’s check what exactly customers say about Blinkist.

“Indispensable for daily commutes, house-cleaning chores, wind-down time before sleep and many, many other occasions. I tried the free version and loved it, so I decided to go premium. The premium subscription is a bit pricey in my opinion, and this keeps me from giving away more of them as gifts, as I’ve already done with a son and a good friend.”

“I love reading. I’m also neurodivergent. I tend to get overwhelmed by large books, especially self help books because I don’t know if I’ll have time to get through the whole thing. This app solved two problems. It’s allowed me to read the books I want to read and get the takeaways I want to get with the time I have. It’s also allowed me to improve my relationship with my phone. Instead of scrolling through social media, I can now improve my mind and get back to work feeling motivated and not dragged down.”

“I’ve been a member for about 5-6 months now. This seemed like the perfect subscription for my dilemma of wanting to purchase and read many books, but avoid wasting my time with those that I weren’t what I was looking for. Also, for those I was only mildly interested in, I could listen to the Blinkist and get the general idea without wasting my money on a book I didn’t feel was worth the purchase.”

“First, the way each book is summarized is incredibly boring—even for books with engaging and funny prose. The “audio” option Blinkist provides makes this even worst. Each Blinkist summary is read in a monotone voice, with little to no inflection, and absolutely no enthusiasm.”

“I’ve been using this app for several months, and I realize that it should be explained there are a lot of self-development books. I think more than 90 percent of book of here, is self-development things.”

“Overall, great app. But sometimes it is hard to navigate through and manage ‘saved’, “finished’, ‘favorites’, and ‘collections’. Also, doesn’t sync with the website very well.”

“This app sounded very interesting and I wanted to try it, signed up for a 7 day free trial and every time I try to open a book it says I need to subscribe and pay the full annual fee today, what’s the point of the free trial then.”

“Nice app, but can’t easily skim through what you previously read. Also, the experience of highlighting and reviewing your highlights could be improved. Also, there seems to be restrictions with copying pasting snippets, which frustrates me when I try do build out my personal summary of what I read. For example if I want to reference quotes or complex definitions.”

Blinkist alternatives

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.

What are the best books on Blinkist?

FAQ

How many books are on Blinkist?

There are over 6,500 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.

Does Blinkist have full books?

Blinkist itself doesn’t offer full books but each book page includes a link to Amazon where you can buy that book.

Does Blinkist have children’s books?

No, Blinkist offers only non-fiction books for adults. However, some of them might still be suitable for older kids.

What books are on Blinkist?

The books on Blinkist are exclusively non-fiction. These are academic, business, productivity, self-help similar literature.

Nancy
Nancy

I am a marketer and a coach who loves to share my knowledge with those who are only starting their career path.

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