I am terrible at putting books down. I tell myself I will. I tell myself that there are thousands of books out there; that you will never read them all; that I have to focus on the best. But there’s a serious time cost. That’s what got me to sign up for Blinkist, a book summary app. But after using it for 5+ years, I’ve found a few underrated benefits.
Vetting Non-Fiction Books
Non-fiction books have a fluff problem. You know how so many could really be a blog post or tweet…but somehow they end up at 330 pages? Blinkist solves that problem. I love, love being able to both discover and vet new non-fiction books. I can get a 20 minute gist of the book and understand if it’s deep & nuanced enough to spend 10 more hours on. Then, when I read the book, I know that it’s worth carefully reading.
Understanding Context Quickly
Books are of a place & time. And they are usually in conversation with other books at the same time. I use Blinkist to get the extended summaries of books in the same topic or time as the main book I’m reading. For example, reading extended summaries about the American South are enormously helpful when reading Southern Gothic fiction.
Relearning What I’ve Already Read
I feel like I have decent reading comprehension. But it does fade over time, especially if I’m not using the knowledge or connecting it to new events. But reading extended summaries on Blinkist helps me re-learn and “lock-in” key ideas from a book that I’ve already spent hours reading. It’s like a form of spaced repetition but for books. I love it!
Blinkist isn’t for everyone. And it’s pretty pricey if you don’t actually use it. But, it’s one of those rare apps that I’m still paying for year after year.
I have a referral deal with Blinkist to help defray the costs of this website at no cost to you. They did not pay for this post, but they do pay me if they know I sent you.
If you are looking for a way to discover & vet books that are worth your time, click this link to explore their current specials & to explore their selection.