A couple of years ago, I discovered that over eighty percent of my book selections could be considered “self-help.”
In reality, with millions of self-help books available, you only need the general ideas that are presented in select books. Let’s face it; self-help books tend to be repetitive. These books are, for the most part, easy to read, quick to digest, and their overall message is pretty similar. Still, many readers, like myself, can not get enough of these books. In fact, the industry is sustained by many repeat buyers.
Thankfully, for those of us who only want the general ideas in these books, there is Blinkist.
What is Blinkist?
Blinkist is a web and mobile app that allows users to explore key insights (called blinks) from over 2000+ bestselling nonfiction books. Popular books in 19 categories are curated and summarized into digestible versions for users to read or listen to in 15 minutes or less.
While not perfect in its selection of books, the Blinkist database offers a starting point for non-fiction bookworms to gather general insights about a particular area of interest.
Blinkist helps to satiate my curiosity. I have been quite impressed by the selection of books in the Blinkist database. I have listened to audiobooks while driving, waiting for an appointment, and walking around campus, and I love it.
My recently completed blinks
Blinkist uses a freemium pricing model. With the free plan, you will receive one daily pre-selected book. For premium users, you can sync all of your highlights to Evernote and send blinks to your Kindle reader.
Blinkist also offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
Blinkist allows me to explore different books to determine if I need to read the whole book. For instance, Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work, was one where after listening to the blinks, I decided that I needed to learn more about the rules he shares for starting and sustaining a deep work regimen. More importantly, I needed to learn about the strategies that Dr. Newport shared for ways to improve focus and work output.
Blinkist is not perfect. First, reading a book summary is very different from reading an actual book. I find that it is harder to visualize the stories and sometimes the blinks do not stick for more than a day. So if you want to try Blinkist, feel free to do so with my referral link, but have realistic expectations.
Also, I have not used the highlight feature, so I am pretty sure I am more disengaged than the average user.
For full disclosure, I have only read books on Blinkist that have the audio component. I usually listen to blinks when I have a short amount of time to spare. Usually, with more time, I am more likely to read an actual book or listen to an audiobook.
Also, while I enjoy using Blinkist and have received a six-month trial as a premium Scribd subscriber, I do not plan to pay for the Premium Blinkist service once my trial is over. Although I plan to retain my free Blinkist account, I am pretty sure that Blinkist will miss the mark on their pre-selected book choices for me.
If you are a non-fiction bookworm, I think you might enjoy Blinkist. My goal in reading these books is to learn about and debate long established or accepted notions about particular topics. Self-help books often include aspects of social psychology and human behavior, and these are areas that I am interested in as well.
Also published on Medium.