What the Tech? App of the Day: Blinkist

I suppose most people would say they’d like to read more. I suppose most of the people saying that have an excuse that they’re just too busy to do it. What if you could read a non-fiction best seller in just 15 minutes?

Blinkist is one of the most popular reading apps on the planet and it allows people to read popular non-fiction titles in just 15 minutes or less. How?

Remember Cliff Notes? Those yellow paperback books that helped some of us get through 11th grade English by summarizing books we were supposed to read for class is somewhat similar to Blinkist.

The app for iOS and Android devices provides a Cliff Notes version of a book right on your smartphone or tablet. The titles are all non-fiction such as books about religion and spirituality, business, self-improvement, history, political science, and autobiographies, which makes sense because a summary of a popular fictional book just wouldn’t be as enjoyable.

Blinkist takes the high points, ideas and crucial thoughts found in a non-fiction book and pulls out just the important parts.

For example, when I opened the book “Freakonomics” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, rather than reading all 336 pages, Blinkist summarizes much of it down to just a 15-minute read. While I didn’t get every single point the authors try to get across, I did get the most important parts of the book.

Blinkist offers over 4,300 titles and adds more each month.

When you first open the app you can select your favorite categories and the app will recommend best-selling titles and those that other users are reading and those that get good reviews from those users.

If you’d rather listen than read, Blinkist offers a synopsis in audiobook formats. Imagine reading or listening to a book in the short time it takes you to commute to and from work? In 15 minutes you can get the main ideas from thousands of books from the world’s greatest minds.

Blinkist also offers podcast summaries called “Shortcasts”.

The app is free but to use it you’ll need a subscription which costs roughly $8.30 a month. A subscription opens all of the titles for unlimited 15-minute readings.

The app is great for anyone wanting to broaden their mind, have something to talk about, or who is entertained by any non-fiction work.


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