Reading plays an important role in the writer’s skills. But not all of us have problems finishing a book. Do you think Blinkist can help you out by promising a 15-minute book reading?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Rest assured that I don’t promote any product and/or program that I don’t recommend and/or haven’t used for myself.
Spending hours on the couch reading your favorite book could be a favorite hobby for most writers. Even if you aren’t a writer yourself, reading can be worthwhile.
For writers, it is also one of the ways to improve your writing skills based on the work as an inspiration.
You learn new words, concepts, ideas, etc. which provides you expansion when it comes to developing new insights and strategies on telling a story.
However, not all writers have no problems with book reading. That includes me. Most of us hoard as many books as we can only to end up stuck in the bookshelves.
Unopened. Covered with dust. Never touched again.
This is why, for me, it’s crucial to seek platforms that help me to learn new things for my writing career in other formats.
I like to try listening to audiobooks and see other ways for me to resolve this concern. Just because I can’t finish a damn book, it doesn’t mean I’m not deserving to be a writer.
It’s just that I learn differently.
So, I ended up with Blinkist and explored the platform to see how it would help me and you, too, who’s also in the same situation as me.
With that being said, I will tell you my experience with this book reading app and my judgment whether this could be worth your time and money or not.
Are you ready? Let’s dive into it. Shall we?
What is Blinkist?
Blinkist was founded in 2012 by a group of friends namely: Holger Seim, Niklas Jansen, Sebastian Klein, and Tobias Balling.
It is a German private company based in Berlin, which became a top company responsible for creating a revolutionary product.
Their “selling nonfiction” idea sold among millions of book readers around the world. It became one of the top resources for nonfiction readers and writers alike.
Due to its insurmountable popularity, they continue its book curating process until they ended up with 27 book categories. Among them, comprise the following, namely:
- Finance and Investing
For instance, you’re a writer who wants to search for the best resources to support your ideas. The first you do is to find a good book, right?
Here’s the problem.
- We need more high-quality resources i.e. books.
- We have problems with finishing an entire book.
- We have different learning styles because not all writers learn the same way.
To make sure what we’re writing is rational and well-supported with facts, we need to read several books as well as other resources.
Therefore, reading several books to learn other writers’ viewpoints plays a crucial role in developing your idea.
Before the rise of audiobooks, people were in agony reading and finishing each work. Now, we have audiobooks. And much more, we have Blinkist.
Hence, there’s no excuse for your inability to learn new stuff anymore. I know this is funny to say this for an ambitious writer like me, who plans to write a book but can’t finish reading even a single book.
It’s sad but I believe it’s the reality for most of us, writers. This is why I will explain how Blinkist can be a big “hope” to feel accomplished and learn better.
How Does Blinkist Help Writers?
Not all writers learn the same way as I pointed out earlier. Others may want to read a hardcover, others may prefer audiobooks. Either way, the outcome is the same. You still learn, yet, it’s in a format you learn best.
If you plan to write a nonfiction book, Blinkist could be your good resource to outsource different ideas of other authors who have written the same subject.
As Jerry Jenkins said in one of his YouTube videos about the vital role of research in any form of writing. Be it for fiction or nonfiction work. That said, having a good list of resources to refer to our ideas must be present.
Here’s the thing.
It’s not for all. Its book recommendations are ALL nonfiction.
Based on the Blinkist features list, its top priority is to give nonfiction reading resources for its users within a short time of like 15-minutes.
“You get the key insights from a nonfiction book in just 15-minutes, in text or audio to fit the different parts of your day,” as written on its page.
Because of the grandiose promise of providing an avenue for the busy people to learn, they garnered many international awards such as the United Nations World Summit Award in the Learning & Education category.
Blinkist also received a Google Material Design Award, wherein they were named as one of Apple’s Best Apps of 2017.
Given the accolades, it’s evident that this cram-reading app earned a good reputation in the public domain, which also could mean it’s a good alternative for learning amidst your chaotic schedule.
How Does Blinkist Work?
Blinkist is available for free and paid. Its free plan is just for 1 book versus the paid plans with access to 3,000+ book titles to choose from.
To get access to Blinkist features for free within 7 days, you need to sign-up via Facebook or email. Once you do, you get inside the dashboard and enjoy reading a bunch of book highlights, which they call “blinks.”
And when we say “blinks,” these are pieces of content turned into insights or a summary of the book good for a 15-minute reading. In other words, you’re reading a collection of well-written summaries.
I tried Blinkist myself and saw how it is for the writers’ experience using the application on my PC.
So, after I signed-up via Facebook, I arrived at this page where it explains the benefits I would enjoy when I start scouring the list of 3,000+ best sellers in 27 categories.
At the same time, it promises me to enjoy high-quality audio and texts to binge-read for 15 minutes for each book.
Blinkist also recommends new ideas from its book curators, giving you more options to read every single day.
How Much Does Blinkist Cost?
As you can see below, Blinkist gives me 3 options to try. For the sake of this review, I will try its recommended—which I also assume its popular options among the 3.
I clicked Premium Yearly which will cost me 6.67 Euro per month and 79.99 Euro annually. That’s around $7 per month and $86 per year.
By the way, this option is best to save as much as 49% from regular monthly fees. That’s almost a 50% discount per month, my friend.
Aside from providing a good reading experience for individual users, Blinkist also caters to companies that opt to use the application for instant reading access.
For instance, you want your employees to read further resources necessary for their work, Blinkist can assist.
There are no differences when it comes to the benefits, though. It’s just that there’s a separate fee for private users and companies.
For the latter, they can add up to 10 members in the subscription worth 799 Euros annually (equivalent to approximately $864 per year).
If you have more budget, you can add up to 50 members to enjoy Blinkist for 2,999 Euros per year, which is equivalent to approximately $3,241 annually.
How’s My Blinkist Experience?
Going back to my experience with Blinkist, it was a pleasant experience. I will tell you my experience and confirm what most people claim it was.
So, I signed up with a Premium Annual Plan just to see how it goes. You know, for the sake of giving clarity to my curiosity after I came across a Reddit post about this platform.
You can see here the book categories to choose from as soon as you finish your billing preference.
I chose the highlighted areas which represent my book preferences, allowing Blinkist App to concentrate on these specific areas for future recommendations.
I clicked continue and arrived at this page where you can search the book titles or authors and start reading. This is what it shows me.
If let’s say, you can’t decide which of these titles you like to read first, you can add them to your library and read later.
When you click the book, you see the blinks. That means you only see the highlights that are extracted from the lengthy book if you buy it on Kindle. In other words, each blink provides a summary of each chapter.
This is a blink from James Clear’s best-selling book “Atomic Habits,” which I wanted to read a long time ago but I haven’t gotten the time to read it.
So, reading it in chunks as Blinkist does for me, it makes my reading time more convenient.
Below the text, there’s a play button which gives you another option to read this blink. If you don’t want to read the whole text, you can listen to it.
If you want to see the whole list of the blinks from this book, Blinkist shows this outline on the side button. Below the blink list, you see different font sizes you prefer, giving more options for users to read comfortably.
In general, Blinkist feels like reading any other book platforms, Medium, for example. The difference is it only contains nonfiction works versus Medium with tons of topics to read.
With that being said, it can be considered as one of the best alternatives for writers who desire to binge read in a summarized form. This gives you more time to finish books earlier than conventional methods.
Another thing I like to point out is the well-articulated texts and audio files for each blink.
Instead of accessing low-quality summaries in the public domain, Blinkist relies on its world-class book curators to provide the best summaries.
I could say that the summaries from each blink are written well in comparison to the usual summaries I find on Google. For me, this is a plus.
What you can find on the web are either plagiarized points (literally copied and pasted from the book) or of low-quality.
This is why when I read the blinks from one of the books I wanted to read, I’m focused on the content and realize the value of the author’s notes; rather than getting distracted by pinpoint grammatical errors.
Is Blinkist A Good Alternative?
In terms of its user interface, it provides me a smooth reading experience while listening to the content I love to learn every day. The words are well-articulated that I could understand each word from the text.
For an auditory learner like me, it’s a big help to still learn new things from a book via listening.
And for someone who has problems with keeping attention for a long duration, it’s a great way to keep reading at your pace or while doing something else.
It’s a good alternative for someone like me, a writer, who finds it hard to keep my attention on reading a book for a long time.
For instance, I may be binding my handmade notebooks for several hours but I still manage to finish a book within the schedule by simply listening to the texts in the background.
Unlike reading traditional books, Blinkist compels me to keep listening to the words if I’m not in the mood to read or have no time to spare to do it.
In that sense, it delivers an experience without leaving you bored or stuck because you have to do something else and leave your book on the side.
And unlike the conventional audiobooks, its contents are summarized so you don’t have to listen to everything from page 1.
All you need are a considerable number of key points you need to remember and apply in your own life.
As I mentioned before, not all writers are fans of book reading. But, I try to impose self-discipline and spare time to finish a book. Not only reading summaries.
This is a big reason for considering Blinkist as an alternative resource because it delivers the same value for people like me as those who managed to read the entire book without problems.
Is Blinkist Safe?
Blinkist provides a good reading alternative for busy people. It’s giving you more reasons to read than thinking of excuses not to do it.
So, they make sure you won’t have any security concerns and be assisted with its top-notch customer service to guarantee focus on learning new stuff than be wary all the time.
How Does Blinkist Set Apart From Other Platforms?
The only thing that sets apart Blinkist from the rest of the platforms is its opportunity to give more freedom for its readers who love to read nonfiction books.
Freedom in the sense where they save more time from reading an entire book just to get insights or realize the value of the author’s content.
You benefit from the summaries as book curators continue to extract the highlights of the book, giving you more time to focus on the key points rather than spending more on reading the author’s repeating supporting ideas.
For example, most nonfiction writers tend to share a lot about their experiences that led them to write the book. These will then support their intent in the chapter.
And without noticing it, they might have repeated the same thought in different chapters. So, you tend to search for the main thing to realize the author’s overall intent.
Blinkist, on the other hand, does the job for you. They focus on the main idea along with some of the most important examples from the author within that chapter.
This is why it saves you more time to think about the new stuff you just learned, giving you more time to reflect and apply them in your life.
Aside from that, it gives a sense of accomplishment for writers like me who have problems keeping the attention to read an entire book.
I don’t know if I have underlying concerns because I hadn’t been diagnosed with something. I just can’t sit for hours and stick to my reading plan.
Although I love to read books, there are times when I just like to skip all the other stuff and find the main point of the author for several reasons. Often, I want everything done fast. That includes reading a book.
This is why when I found Blinkist, it gave me an interestingly new experience in my reading time. It gives me exactly what I need to renew old ideas for something I like to write about.
Is Blinkist Recommending Both Fiction & Nonfiction Books?
Apparently, not. Blinkist is only for curating nonfiction books. Thus, don’t expect fiction works on this platform because as of now, they only focus on providing book curations for nonfiction works.
Does Blinkist Offer Affiliate Program?
In my Blinkist App profile, there’s an option for me to invite friends. Does this mean a referral link? Yes.
It directs you to the personal referral link when you opt to share the worthwhile blink experience with your friends and family. Especially those who are fans of reading nonfiction works.
If you opt to become an affiliate, Blinkist App also offers an affiliate program. You get attractive commissions for sign-ups while giving so much value for your audience.
All you have to do is to share the personal referral link and make commissions. Now, the question is how much would you earn after referring someone to sign-up?
According to sources, they pay you per referral. The sad thing is they haven’t disclosed how much you would earn if you would invite someone.
Other blinkers revealed on Quora that Blinkist may give you a FULL MONTH FREE if you referred more people to sign-up.
It could be either giving you special discounts from your monthly payments or pay you out based on the number of people you invited to sign-up and enjoy Blinkist with you.
At this point, if you think Blinkist is a complete waste of time, you can cancel your account anytime.
And if you’re like me, you can cancel your subscription before the 7-day free trial. Otherwise, they will automatically charge you via PayPal or credit card.
Blinkist Pros & Cons
- High-quality book summaries and audio
- Available for all devices
- Top-notch customer service
- Lots of positive reviews
- Saves more time to finish a book
- Promises 60 books as a yearly accomplishment
- Save more money vs buying books without guarantee to read it
- Welcomes all learning styles (reading and listening to a 15-minute material)
- Only for nonfiction books
- Promotes cram-reading
- Non-disclosure of affiliate compensation
Blinkist Review – Do Other Book Readers Love It?
Diane Shipley wrote an article on The Guardian wherein she explained an argument between reading and cram-reading.
She pointed out that these kinds of apps could simplify a thought but it misses some parts, which could have influenced the whole context.
“Yes, it was well and truly simpler…but there’s no mention of string theory, or the philosophical background to scientific discoveries, which I dimly remember from my attempt to read the original,” she wrote.
In addition to that, Shipley mentioned that this “blink” format will not work for fiction because it might compromise the voice of the story, although condensed editions are published to make fiction easily accessible and absorbed.
Reddit users shared their feedback about Blinkist which challenges the overall thought of this post.
According to some, it’s overpriced and overrated. A user named chick_luke wrote on the forum, “[Blinkist] is the kind of app/service BS self-help websites and YouTubers try to sell to people.”
The app may promote more annual savings from reading summaries but it’s far expensive from Google Play and other platforms to read the same s**t.
Others disagreed and said otherwise. Blinkist helps in preventing the readers to keep reading redundant thoughts and go straight to the main point of the chapter, which saves more time.
“If you’re someone who just wants the useful technique without all the fluff, this service seems like it could be invaluable,” another Reddit user wrote on the same forum thread.
EatMyBean supported the thought by saying that Blinkist helps her from procrastinating and binge watch on Netflix. She also emphasized how Blinkist helped in keeping an eye on the details, particularly the best points.
If you think about it, you see various comments about Blinkist from both its satisfied and dissatisfied users. Even if they haven’t invested in the app, they still see this platform as an expensive BS.
However, for me, as well as the rest of the users who like Blinkist, we have a different perspective. I have stated my reasons for loving this book reading platform. Especially with my writing career.
As a professional writer, I have to read a lot. I mean, a lot.
Keeping myself updated with the latest ideas and learning new concepts I haven’t encountered before play a vital role in my writing life.
This is why I recommend Blinkist as a good alternative for reading books and finishing it despite the negative reaction from other users.
I wasn’t bored or had any unpleasant experience with the platform. So, it’s worth trying.
Conclusion – Is Blinkist Worth It?
If you always have problems with reading an entire book, you might want to consider Blinkist as an option.
According to its official website, the app promises to help you finish 60 books in a year as those successful people normally achieve.
Bill Gates read 50 books per year. Mark Zuckerberg finishes a book within 2 weeks. So, that would be 26 books in a year.
Whereas you….er, maybe 1 book in a year?
Funny. But that sucks, right?
We can think of a lot of excuses not to read a book. If we already started, we reach a middle point crisis and stop.
Whatever the reasons for stopping in between, the problem is the same: we can’t finish reading a damn book.
From that perspective, having Blinkist as your top resource for accomplishing the same number of books as the most successful people achieve is a great thing.
However, it’s still advisable for writers to stay conventional and read an entire book regardless if it’s printed or in an audiobook version. The important thing is that you keep learning.
A writer cannot grow without reading. As I mentioned earlier, reading is one of the best ways you can do to improve your writing skills.
That said, Blinkist is a great option for doing just that, although it only focuses on nonfiction book ideas.
Nonetheless, it was a great thing to experience this application for a short time. I only tried a free trial but it already gave me something valuable and worth hoping.
[su_note note_color=”#e7e7e7″]Writers need to constantly read different books to expand ideas and to improve writing skills. [/su_note]
For writers who have the same problems as I do have, you can’t deny the importance of having these kinds of platforms to help us in our writing endeavors.
To end this post, I like to share with you a quote that says, “You learn to write better by reading. You learn to read better by writing. Reading and writing work together to improve your ability to think!”
So, I will leave the decision to try Blinkist or not, my friend. It’s your turn to try.
If you like this post, feel free to share this with your friends and family. Especially those who are in agonizing quarantine because of the outbreak.
Rather than feeling stuck inside your home, it’s best to take action and read to expand your ideas. Perhaps, you can develop a big idea for your next best-selling book. 🙂
In any case of errors in the post, feel free to contact me and inform me specifically which part of the content you think I missed. Thank you!
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