Blinkist Review: Is This Book Summary App Worth The Hype?

In this Blinkist review, I’ll cover what I like about this book summary service, where I think it can improve, and if it’s worth it for summarizing books.

Reading non-fiction books allows you to learn new skills and improve on old ones. But unfortunately, it can take weeks or even months to complete a book.

This is where Blinkist can help. The book summaries make learning more time-efficient because you’re only consuming the important takeaways.

So in this post, I’ll look at everything you need to know about Blinkist. Then, I’ll talk about my experience with the book summary app, some benefits and drawbacks to look out for, and if it’s worth it.

What Is Blinkist?

Blinkist is a book summary app with over 18 million users. It is founded by Holger Seim, Niklas Jansen, Sebastian Klein, and Tobias Balling while living together in Berlin in 2012.

The Blinkist founders knew that quickly consuming knowledge through books is becoming harder, and new forms of content like video and blog posts are more popular than ever. So they developed Blinkist to help users understand an entire book within minutes.

When commuting to work or school, you can plug in your earphones and listen to audiobook summaries. It’ll be like reading an entire 350-page book in just one commute.

Blinkist Pricing

Blinkist only offers one premium plan, but you get two payment options:

  • The monthly subscription costs $15.99 per month
  • The yearly subscription costs $89.99 per annum
Blinkist pricing
Blinkist only offers one premium plan, but you get two payment options

With this Blinkist premium plan, you get unlimited access to over 5,000 titles. This is good value for money because many tools charge per book or use a credit system, which gets expensive if you read a lot.

You’ll also receive a seven-day free trial when you sign up. This gives you a week to get a feel for the platform and read summaries of your favorite books before deciding. This way, there’s no risk of paying for something you don’t like or won’t continue to use.

I also like the Blinkist feature called Blink of the Day, allowing you to listen to or read one pre-selected book summary a day without signing up for the Blinkist subscription.

Who Uses Blinkist?

After I have used Blinkist to learn how to write better content, I found it can empower the lives of:

  • Freelance writers
  • Those into self-improvement
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Anyone short on time

Freelance Writers

If you’re a freelance writer looking to get better at creating content and copy, Blinkist can help you learn faster.

With books, you’ll have to read over 350-pages to receive a few nuggets of information. This is an inefficient way to consume information for a busy person who is on the go and working full time. Not only is buying books expensive, but you can also learn much more in less time with Blinkist.

For example, if you read one book a week, that’s 52 books a year. But if you set aside 15 minutes a day to listen to a Blinkist book summary, you’re receiving the same knowledge, and it’s like reading 365 books a year.

Here are some of my favorites book summaries if you’re struggling to select a title:

  • Writing That Works by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson
  • Do I Make Myself Clear by Harold Evans
  • Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor
Blinkist for freelance writers
If you’re a freelance writer looking to get better at creating content and copy, Blinkist can help you learn faster

Those Into Self Improvement

Blinkist offers titles in various self-improvement niches like:

  • Productivity
  • Health and nutrition
  • Money management
  • Philosophy
  • Relationships

So regardless of what area of your life you’re looking to develop, Blinkist can help. Simply head over to the search bar on top, and you’ll find countless titles.

Unlike regular books that require weeks or months of investment, you only need 15 minutes a day with Blinkist.

You learn much faster because you’re only reading the critical parts and can implement self-improvement advice into your life immediately.

For example, I recently got into stoicism and found the ideology interesting. It helped me overcome adversity and anxiety. The only problem was that there were so many books on stoicism, and it was challenging to choose one. Also, these books are often over 500 pages long.

But with Blinkist, consuming material about stoicism only takes minutes, empowering every aspect of my life. I learn faster and can use the principles sooner. So if you’re into self-improvement, consider these Blinkist options:

  • The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  • Letters from a Stoic by Seneca
  • From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks
Blinkist for those into self-improvement
With Blinkist, consuming material about stoicism only takes minutes

Entrepreneurs

Blinkist has an entire subcategory dedicated to books about entrepreneurship. These summaries only take five to 15 minutes to consume, making them perfect if you’re always busy.

If you’ve read all the popular entrepreneurship books already, consider these lesser-known options:

  • Super Founders by Ali Tamaseb
  • Unprepared to Entrepreneur by Sonya Barlow
  • The Cold Start Problem by Andrew Chen
Blinkist for entrepreneurs
Blinkist has an entire subcategory dedicated to books about entrepreneurship

While your competition is reading books, you streamline the learning process with Blinkist, making it easy to outlearn and outgrow other entrepreneurs. 

Anyone Short Of Time

Reading books is time-consuming, and taking 30 minutes out of your day is a big task if you’re always working or spending time with your family. This is where Blinkist helps. The mobile app allows you to listen to audiobooks in the background, making multitasking effortless.

So let’s say you’re sitting in traffic or waiting for a meeting to start; open the Blinkist app and listen to your favorite books. If you can find 15 minutes during the day where you complete repetitive tasks, pop in your earphones, and it’s almost like reading a book a day.

Now that we know who’ll benefit from Blinkist let’s see how it works.

How Does Blinkist Work?

Blinkist is super easy to use. First, download the desktop or mobile app on the Apple App Store or Play Store.

Blinkist for desktop and mobile app
Download the desktop or mobile app on the Apple App Store or Play Store

Next, sign up for the seven-day free trial,, and it takes you to the dashboard. Here you’ll find suggestions for books Blinkist thinks might benefit your life. Blinkist understands what books appeal to you as you read and listen to summaries and will start suggesting these titles more often.

If you can’t find a specific book, go to the search bar, type in the keyword, and it’ll pop up.

There’s also an explore category on top, which helps you browse through books in multiple niches like:

  • Science
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Money and investments
  • Creativity
Blinkist explore category
There’s also an explore category on top, which helps you browse through books in multiple niches

Scroll through these sections to find titles that appeal to you. You can even follow specific authors. You’ll receive an email notification if they release a new book and Blinkist offers the summary.

Blinkist takes you to a summary page when clicking on a book when clicking on a book, so you know what the book is about. There are a few bullet points listed that cover the benefits of reading this summary and what type of person it appeals to. This way, you can make an informed decision if you want to listen to a specific summary or not.

Blinkist summary page
Blinkist takes you to a summary page when clicking on a book when clicking on a book, so you know what the book is about

Now let’s look at some of my favorite features.

Consume Books, Audiobooks, And Podcasts Within Minutes

The Blinkist benefit that caught my eye as it allows you to access essential lessons that books offer without the endless fluff and repetition. This significantly reduces learning time.

Instead of taking 30 minutes to an hour out of my schedule to read books, I can read an eight-page summary in just 10 to 20 minutes. To better digest these bite-sized pieces of information, I’ll jot notes into a notebook or use Evernote, which Blinkist connects to.

Here are some bestsellers I’m currently listening to on Blinkist:

  • No Red Lights by Alan Patricof
  • Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke
  • The Logic of Scientific Discovery by Karl Popper

These summaries are between 10 to 20 minutes long and structured in a way that’s easy to understand.

Consume books, audiobooks, and podcasts within minutes
The Blinkist benefit that caught my eye as it allows you to access essential lessons that books offer without the endless fluff and repetition

But Blinkist doesn’t just do book summaries. On their website, you’ll also find audio versions and podcasts. This way, you learn while running errands or cleaning around the house.

Blink Of The Day

The Blink of the Day is a feature that allows you to learn something every day by listening to or reading a selected book summary in the library.

Blinkist chooses a different book to feature every day. This is perfect if you didn’t sign up for a paid plan but would like to enjoy some of the books in the Blinkist library. Simply head over to Blinkist.com/nc/daily and click “Read or Listen Now.”

Below, you’ll find a quick synopsis and a “Who It’s For” tab that helps you understand whether or not the book will appeal to you.

Some of my favorite Blink of the Day reads include:

  • AI 2041 by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan
  • Stop. Think. Invest. by Michael Bailey
  • The Art of Stopping Time by Pedram Shojai

The current Blink of the Day is Free Speech by Jacob Mchangama. The book is an enjoyable listen and talks about freedom of speech and critical moments that promoted the idea in ancient times.

Blink of the Day
The book is an enjoyable listen and talks about freedom of speech and critical moments that promoted the idea in ancient times

If the current Blink of the Day isn’t for you, wait until tomorrow. You’ll soon find another more interesting book option.

It Syncs With Evernote And Kindle

The big problem with reading and listening to book summaries is it’s difficult to consume so many lessons in a short time. This information overload causes suboptimal learning.

Fortunately, Blinkist identified this problem and introduced collaboration tools to combat this. For example, with Blinkist, you can connect your library to Evernote, allowing you to take notes without switching between the two apps.

If you like reading from a Kindle, you’ll be happy to know that you can export your favorite Blinkist summaries to Kindle. The process is also straightforward. Simply enter your Amazon Kindle email into your Blinkist app, and export your reading list to Kindle.

Areas For Improvement

However, Blinkist isn’t perfect. Here are some areas that the developers can focus on improving:

  • Blinkist doesn’t rate, critique, or fact-check books
  • The audio freezes occasionally

Blinkist Doesn’t Rate, Critique, Or Fact-Check Books

Blinkist doesn’t give you insight into how good a particular book is before reading the summary. You never know if a book you’re about to read is worth your time because there’s no rating system. It would be helpful if users could rate summaries out of five, making it easier to find quality titles.

Unlike other book summary apps like Shortform, Blinkist doesn’t critique and fact-check books. Unfortunately, they also don’t provide counterarguments, so you aren’t getting the complete picture.

If you’d like a tool that critiques, fact-checks, and rates books, consider Shortform.

The Audio Freezes Occasionally

When listening to audiobooks on your Android app, you’ll find that the audio occasionally freezes, even if your internet connection is strong. Although this isn’t a dealbreaker, it’s frustrating, and you’ll need to restart the mobile app.

Blinkist Competitors

Here are some Blinkist competitors to look out for:

  • Audible
  • Shortform
  • Traditional reading

Audible

Audible is an audiobook app that reads books to you. Each month, you get one credit, allowing you to listen to any book of your choice. If you don’t like a book, you can also return it and get your credit back.

Audible is more affordable than Blinkist but isn’t as efficient. If you’re looking to learn as much as possible in the shortest time frame, Blinkist is better. The $15.99 monthly subscription is more costly, but you can listen to unlimited titles.

Blinkist also offers an audiobook summary feature similar to Audible. So if you’re commuting or running errands, use your earphones to listen to book summaries.

Shortform

Shortform is another book summary app that does more than summarize books. It consumes content and reteaches the principles using a one-page or article-length summary.

Like Blinkist, it removes the repetitive fluff most books contain and gets down to the meat of the topic. They’ll even reorganize information clearer than the book, making learning more effortless.

Shortform analyzes concepts and ties the lessons into other books, articles, and statistics. This information agrees and disagrees with the book, so you can see both sides of the argument and make a better decision.

This is where Blinkist falls short. Although the book summaries allow you to consume content faster, it doesn’t go into the detail that Shortform does.

But Shortform isn’t perfect, either. It’s almost twice as expensive as Blinkist, making it an impractical option for those on a budget. Shortform also doesn’t integrate with note-taking apps like Evernote, which makes retaining information challenging.

Traditional Reading

Book summary apps aren’t a replacement for books because it leaves out the nuance and context that helps you implement these principles in your life. There might be stories in the book that help lessons click.

Also, books tend to repeat the same information, and although it’s annoying, repetition helps us learn. You’re accessing the important points with book summary apps, but the lack of repetition and nuance can make learning harder.

I also like the offline experience you get with books. Using tools like Blinkist or Audible makes it easy to get distracted by emails, phone calls, and text messages. I find that when a book starts getting boring, I’ll exit the app and start scrolling through social media.

But with physical books, it’s your time away from technology and online distractions. This helps clear your mind from constant online stimulation, which is essential for creativity when writing.

Blinkist Review Criteria

I used the following criteria when deciding if Blinkist is a practical option for writers, entrepreneurs, and busy people:

  • Practicality
  • Ease of use
  • Affordability
  • Additional features

Blinkist meets all these criteria but can be costly compared to alternatives like Audible.

When signing up, I first noticed the array of book summary choices. Blinkist offers books in finance, marketing, business, and health niches. Their website says they have over 5,000 titles to choose from, so you’ll never run out of options.

It’s also constantly releasing new books and podcasts. So if your favorite book isn’t on the platform, check the “Recently Released” tab because you might find it there within a few weeks.

The ease of use is another standout benefit. The dashboard is clean and straightforward. The tabs on top allow you to scroll through thousands of books; if you can’t find one, type it into the search bar.

However, Blinkist is a bit costly. It sets you back $15.99 a month or $89.99 per annum. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but I’d like Blinkist to add more accessible plans at a lower cost.

The last criteria are additional features, and I like that Blinkist offers podcasts and audiobooks. This way, you can listen to content on the go. The integration with Evernote and Kindle also allows for easy note-taking and reading.

Why You Can Trust Me

I’ve been using Blinkist to learn more about content writing and entrepreneurship over the last few months. It helped me take my knowledge to the next level.

Without Blinkist, sitting down for a few hours and starting reading is challenging, especially when trying to meet deadlines. But Blinkist allows me to plug in my earphones for 10 minutes and absorb the knowledge of an entire book. This makes learning fun and more efficient.

Looking for more? Check out our Audible vs. Apple Books review!

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Blinkist Review
  • Practicality
  • Ease of use
  • Affordability
  • Additional features
4

Blinkist Review: The Bottom Line

Blinkist is the perfect app if you want to learn faster without taking hours out of your day to read books.

It does a good job summarizing the main points and lessons from various books and making them easily consumable via a 15-minute audiobook.

In short, Blinkist is worth your time and money because it optimizes the learning process. Instead of taking a few weeks to finish a book, you’ll be able to understand its key principles within minutes.

Pros

  • The book summaries are complete and well-rounded
  • You can use the audiobooks to learn if you’re pressed for time
  • The interface is simple and easy to navigate
  • Highlighting helps digest information and remember key ideas
  • The audiobook listening experience is comparable to Audible

Cons

  • You miss the stories and humor of a book when reading the summary
  • It’s easy to interpret lessons and facts the wrong way due to the lack of context
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