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!