With the growing popularity of eBooks, apps like Blinkist have made reading a lot easier, but could it come at a cost?
In recent years, e-books have become more and more popular. Kindle devices and iBooks apps have helped catalyze the growth of the digital reading format. E-books are frequently compared to physical books, with some preferring the former for its convenience and others the latter for its authentic experience.
With the introduction of audio books, electronic books then took on a more digital format with the introduction of audio books. The format was popularized by Amazon’s Audible service, which offered audiobooks as a monthly subscription. The audio experience was appealing because it appealed to people’s inability to sit for long, uninterrupted periods to read a book.
The Blinkist app adapts even more to our diminishing attention span.
Blinkist summarizes books into short snippets that can be read in just a few minutes, reducing reading hours. Users also have the option of listening to summaries on the go, combining their benefits with audio playback.
This review will provide an overview of how the app works and the pros and cons of playing through Blinkist.
How does Blinkist work?
Blinkist sums up long books into short summaries. These are then split into a few draggable pages called flashes. Essentially, each chapter is often summarized into a single Blink.
Human narrators provide audio playback, so listening to summaries through Blinkist is like an audiobook, although it can be done in much less time. While an audiobook can take hours to read, most flashes on the app can be listened to in about 15 minutes.
As a result, Blinkist promises to deliver “more knowledge in less time.” But is the claim valid?
How effective is Blinkist?
In our experience with the app, the flashes capture enough information from a book, providing value in just a few minutes.
As a result, you can get the key messages from the book without having to dive into the details. This allows you to read a few books at the same time as it would take to read a single one.
Also read: Can Social Media Apps Really Fight Racism Online?
Blinkist is also beneficial for people who want to read but haven’t found the time or made a habit. It’s much easier to get into the habit of reading 15 minutes a day than it is to go through an entire book all at once, which can seem daunting at times.
Another advantage of Blinkist is that readers don’t have to take notes as often with Blinks as they would with a regular book since the app provides a summary in the first place.
Best of all, Blinkist seamlessly combines reading and listening, allowing readers (or listeners) to select the format that works best for them at all times.
All of these are combined with benefits already present in eBooks like synced reading positions and notes, quick in-app search, and more.
What are its faults?
Despite Blinkist’s perks, it still comes under criticism for not fully capturing the message of the books.
The flashes miss points expressed in a book that could not be included in the summary. If an author thought that someone could sum up the value of their book in a fraction of the original size, then they would have written a much shorter book in the first place.
Plus, these summaries run through the author’s personality, so every book sounds the same.
It’s not just the personality, however; The flashes are based on the interpretation of the application editors. Their perspective may be different from yours, and you cannot capture the same key messages as if you had read the book directly.
On top of that, we often learn by repetition. The nature of Blinkist avoids this by only showing a summary of messages once. On the flip side, the books repeat the same key messages throughout the book, making it more likely that the information will stick with us.
How much does Blinkist cost?
Blinkist is free to download, allowing users to read a daily choice for free. However, to access Blinkist’s over 4,700 books, you will need a Blinkist Premium subscription. It will cost $ 60 per year, which is just over QAR 200.
Promo codes can be found online, often reducing the price by 20%. Blinkist is currently running a promotion to offer Premium at 40% off, making the subscription now just under 150 QAR.
Even at the full price, Blinkist is a steal. Most books cost around $ 10 to $ 15, whether it’s a paperback, e-book, or audiobook. At $ 60, Blinkist is the price of 4 books per year.
Surprisingly enough, Blinkist doesn’t pay authors when someone reads their books. This controversial decision is explained on the Blinkist site:
Also read: Do I have to declare if a photo is retouched? Norway thinks so
“Our Blinks are concise and convincing, but necessarily limited by their format. Think of them as a sturdy trailer for the books. The complete books offer a more in-depth discussion, rich examples, references, and explanations that Blinks cannot contain. That’s why we provide an easy way for customers to find, buy, and listen to the full audiobook on Blinkist.
Essentially, Blinkist claims to give writers exposure, comparing their Blinks to movie trailers. However, the language used on the home page is totally different: “Understand books and podcasts in 15 minutes”.
As expected, the authors are generally unhappy with Blinkist.
They feel their work is being ripped off because of loopholes, and some say seeing their work “summed up in just a few words is humiliating.” Others praised the platform for providing exposure to their books and making learning more accessible, with some authors even teaming up with the service to promote their books on launch day.
So, is Blinkist worth it?
The ability to read and listen to books in a single subscription is excellent. The exchange between the two is fluid, allowing us to read the beginning of a book, then listen to the end.
Blinkist also offers full audiobooks at a discounted rate if you want to delve deeper into a book.
If you are someone who already reads books frequently, then you are probably better off continuing to do so. However, if, like many of us, you’ve tried reading books but just couldn’t commit, we recommend giving Blinkist a try.
You can start by reading the Free Daily Pick. If you like the experience, you can start a free trial before paying for the service.
What do you think of Blinkist – and digital book summaries in general? Is a concise summary enough for you or do you prefer to read the entire book? Let us know in the comments.
Follow Doha News on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube