Blinkist made a big splash on the corporate scene a few years ago by condensing popular nonfiction and business books into 15-minute blink summaries. It enabled busy professionals to extract the key value out of dozens of useful and inspiring titles. Blinkist isn’t free of issues though, for starters, pricing is inflexible. Although there’s a discounted yearly plan, users who want more flexibility will have to shell out nearly $10 for the monthly plan.
Moreover, some Blinkist topics like History and Psychology have a relatively limited number of summaries available. We’re bringing you a curated list of the top 7 Blinkist alternatives. These solutions build on the Blinkist approach by specializing in particular areas, adding multimedia components, enhancing accessibility, and more. Read on to find out!
Top Blinkist Alternatives
Perhaps 15-minute reads are too condensed for you. This is the idea Joosr was working with as it’s taken the Blinkist formula and extended it (literally) by 25 percent—All book summaries in Joosr’s library are 20-minute reads. That extra five minutes can be important when trying to get a handle on more complex titles like Ha-Joon Chang’s Economics. Joosr has a much smaller book selection than Blinkist, with just over 250 book summaries. However, in our opinion, they’re generally better structured and, as mentioned that extra content gives you the space to understand a book instead of just making a passing acquaintance with it.
Joosr isn’t entirely without its drawbacks, though. While the summaries are more detailed, the app’s text-to-speech capabilities leave a lot to be desired: Joosr audiobooks just aren’t enjoyable because of the virtual narrator’s robotic cadence. Joosr has a couple of pricing options: Premium offers unlimited access to Joosr’s ebooks at $5.99 a month. Stepping that up to the $6.99 a month Prime plan gives you access to unlimited audiobooks as well. You might want to check out Joosr’s free trial here.
12min takes the opposite tack: Compress things down to 12-minutes. The Brazil-based developers of 12min claim that because their book summaries are so well synthesized, using 12min is the equivalent of reading 3 books a day. The book selection on 12min is on the smaller side, at 228 books so far. It is growing, however. Compared to Joosr, there are more general-interest titles in the 12min collection, such as Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. Pricing is reasonable here, with a single annual subscription of 70 dollars, that works out to a bit less than $6 per month. Sign up for a free trial of 12min here.
Bookbhook literally translates as “Bookhungry” in Hindi. The India-based book summary solution takes the Blinkist approach and remixes it to deliver a more engaging experience. Bookbhook’s Android and the iOS app delivers 3000-word book summaries in a chat format—the interface resembles common instant messenger apps like Whatsapp—Bookbhook tries to recreate the experience of getting quick notes on a book from a friend. We’re quite impressed with Bookbhook’s engaging style. They have over 300 titles to select from across a wide range of topics, including current affairs and the environment, Bookbhook is unique in that unlike the other solutions on this list, it’s entirely free.
The name of this solution makes it sound like Snapchat for books and, in a way that’s exactly what it is: on-demand snippets of nonfiction bestsellers, condensed so that you won’t have to do the heavy reading. Snapreads has a selection of over 600 books condensed into 15-minute reads. While it does cover multiple genres, their Memoir and Biographies section are particularly interesting, bringing the key life highlights of inspiring people to the fore in just those 15 minutes.
Install Snapreads ( iOS)
GetAbstract is laser-focused on business-oriented publications. Unlike the other solutions on this list, you’ll not find a wide range of topics. However, getAbsract goes deep, with over 20,000 offerings across over 350 categories, from leadership to corporate culture, that specifically pertains to business. GetAbstract’s summaries are 10 minutes long. While this is enough for generalized self-help books, we can’t help but wonder how much value GetAbstract provides when covering complex topics like artificial intelligence. GetAbstract isn’t cheap: There’s a Starter plan for around $90, which gets you to access to a smaller selection of 5000 titles. Full access to the complete GetAbstract collection will cost you $250 per year.
6. Four Minute Books
Four Minute Books is another solution that’s of the opinion that less is more. It has a wider selection of titles to choose from, clocking in at over 500 books. As the name suggests, Four Minute Books’ summaries are on the shorter side. Nevertheless, reading through some of their summaries, we got the impression that their content team has a great understanding of the source material and, at least in terms of some of the more non-specialist titles in their selection, that much reading is enough to get a good gist of what the author’s trying to say.
It also appears to have some form of a tie-up with Blinkist, with a special Blinkist discount offer—you can look at Four Minute Books as a kind of gateway to Blinkist then, offering even more condensed summaries. Unfortunately, Four Minute Books doesn’t have dedicated mobile app support. It is free, though, on the plus side. Check it out here.
Check out Four Minute Books
These were my picks for Blinkist alternatives which you can try to quickly read up on your favorite books. Joosr, while decent comes with its caveats like the robotic narration. Four Minute Books doesn’t have its own content but has plenty of affiliates. Snapreads condenses your large books into 15-minute reads. If you found this feature interesting, you’ll want to check out our feature on the Top ePub Readers for Windows—these will help you get the most out of your digital reading experience.