Let's be honest, busy people don't have time to trudge through long books made of mostly filler. Unfortunately, publishers know they can't put a high price on a 40-page book. In the end, authors are stuck building a lavish sea of meaningless words around the simple concepts they want to convey. That's where Blinkist comes in. It's a service that boils popular non-fiction books down to their most formative and salient points. Think of it like Cliffs Notes, but even shorter and not funded entirely by high school students. Blinkist has been around for about a year with a website and iOS app, but now its making a debut on Android.


Blinkist suggests you can fly through Guy Kawasaki's The Art of the Start in 18 minutes and Phil Rosenzweig's The Halo Effect in just 13. Each book has a brief description and hints about who might want to read it, and all of the content is laid out in simple sections with just enough text to get the point without a bunch of repetition or unnecessary examples. There are currently over 400 books in the catalog, with about 40 new books added each month. The categories are strictly non-fiction and you'll find books on society, politics & history, health & happiness, entrepreneurship, business & career, popular science, productivity & self-help. You can browse the list at Blinkist.com to get an idea of what's available. The biggest weakness is that there's no way to filter by content length, so it's not terribly easy to find the really short books if you just need to fill 5-10 minutes as demonstrated in the video.

I usually have a hard time reading books in these categories because I understand the concepts and get bored long before the author has finished with a wordy explanation. I just want to hit the details quickly and efficiently, and then move on. The content in Blinkist is formed a little more like a blog post than a book, so everything is short and to the point. So far, I'm actually enjoying this.

If you're interested in trying out Blinkist, there is an automatic 2-day free trial when you create an account. A monthly subscription is pretty steep at $7.99, but quarterly or yearly subscriptions are more palatable at $20.00 and $49.99, respectively. (You'll have to hit the website for the quarterly option.) Also, if you hurry up, you can also grab 3 months free from Stack Social for just liking and sharing a link to Blinkist on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Just hurry up, the offer ends tomorrow!

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • George Kaimakas

    G R R Martin's nightmare

    • Noelani Lois

      Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I've started averaging 15k a month... The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start... This is where to start>WagePress.com

    • agclaymore

      Yeah, he'd lose several chapters in his current work in progress. The ones from Hodor's point of view would be the first to go.

      Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor? Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor.Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor!


  • state-it

    Sounds like a crock of dumbed down shite

    • Đức Thành

      It's good for what it's used for. Those are non-fiction books, if there's a way to sum up the main points of the contents and help people who are either too busy or too lazy to make an effort to read, I don't see how that wouldn't be considered useful.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I actually thought the same after signing up and seeing the content. A bunch of inspirational crap that looks like it belongs on an SEO blog than a site I'm expected to pay for. Bleurgh.

  • Bob


    If you're seeing this Koush, c'mon bro...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Think you posted to the wrong article...

  • http://www.google.com/+jordancable Jordan Cable

    It's an interesting concept but I do not really see it taking off. Especially at those prices. I signed up for the three month trial. I'll give it a try at least.

  • Sky

    the concept seems interesting, especially for people that not only have a hard time reading, but people with AdHd like myself ..7.99 is decent if the value is there and worth it.. might give the 3 month trial a go.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      It really isn't though.

    • popitz

      As someone who is distracted quite easily and someone who after reading most of non-fiction books feels that the actual valuable content (for my needs) could be easily summarized in a few pages, I'm enjoying the the service.

  • Just_Some_Nobody

    People have time. Nobody is so busy they can't kick back and enjoy a book every now and then.

    I know, I know, there going to be people replying saying they are that busy. Sure you are. Or ... you're just disorganized and can't admit it.

    • FancyGriddles

      It's not about being "disorganized." It's about priorities. I don't want to "kick back and enjoy a book every now and then." I want to read the information I'm interested in, when I'm interested in it, and be able to move on with my life, reading other things, or doing other things. I don't want to waste time wading through a bunch of stuff I'm not interested in reading to get to the stuff that I AM interested in reading, and it's nice to have a service that does that editing for you.

  • FancyGriddles

    AGGGHHH! Who did they hire to do this god-awful video?

  • rogue2204

    Book concatenation? Sounds an awful lot like Orwell's 1984 starting to come true.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      First of all, to 'concatenate' means to join or link two or more things together. I think the word you're looking for is 'concentrate' or 'condense.'

      Second, if you think of it that way, you might as well equate it to the book burnings by the Nazi party. There's a huge difference between intentionally censoring out fundamental messages and distilling a message down to its fundamental components.

      • rogue2204

        Good points! I should clarify that I'm not against this concept, I was just reminded of 1984. With concatenate I was attempting to explain the joining of essential parts of the book thereby leaving the fluff out.

  • http://sgtgiggsy.blogspot.hu sgtGiggsy

    Worst ad ever! Who made it? The 80% of the time we see only the guy's face, it shows almost nothing about the product, or what exactly it does.