Is there a list of books you’d like to read if only you had the time? Blinkist, a new educational service for mobile devices, is looking to make sure you have the time to read whatever you like. Designed to fill the random bursts of downtime we experience every day (like during your commute or while waiting for a phone call), Blinkist promises you can read any book in 15 minutes or less.
How Blinkist Works
Blinkist is a service that provides expertly written summaries of popular nonfiction books mostly related to business, but also about religion, history, and other subjects Summaries come in easily digestible “blinks,” which are chunks of summaries you can read in three minutes or less. Since the Blinkist web service is optimized for all screen sizes, you can use it on your iPad, on your Android tablet or phone and on your iPhone through Blinkist’s native iPhone app.
When you open Blinkist, the service helps you choose books in line with you want to learn. You’ll see a list of newly released nonfiction books; a categories list that includes business & career, productivity & self-help and entrepreneurship; and collections of books curated by thought leaders.
One of Blinkist’s selling points is that experts in the field handcraft every summary. “No algorithms that mechanically put facts behind facts,” the company writes on its website. “Pure human brainpower with a passion for explaining complex matters in a simple and beautiful language.”
Does Blinkist Inspire a Cheater Culture?
Blinkist is on a mission to help you “find inspiring ideas and learn something new, anytime, anywhere.” Because of its short and sweet approach to consuming books, the app is likely to face criticism from bibliophiles who feel that reading a synopsis is not nearly as valuable as reading the book itself. In an interview with TechCrunch, however, the company emphasizes that its goal is not to replace but to spur an interest in books and the worthwhile ideas they contain. “We support the pursuit of continuous learning even in the busiest of schedules,” the company writes. Rather than turn people off from reading, the company believes that Blinkist might even inspire more people to read more books.
Want to give Blinkist a whirl? Last week the company launched its product internationally and is offering a 30-day free trial of its service. Sign up here, or download the Blinkist app for iPhone.