I will start with a brief introduction and state that after a week or so of paying for an annual subscription and using the app (there is also a website), I can categorically say that Blinkist is worth the purchase…for some.
This Blinkist review will cover my story with the app, why I purchased a subscription, if I will renew at the end of the year, and which types of folks it is suitable for (you might be surprised to know it isn’t only about reading).
Moreover, I want to state early on that I won’t be taking the route of many other reviews and will try to keep it as simple and butter-free as possible (although be warned of some rambling as is, unfortunately, my style). So without any more preamble, let’s get to it.
Quick Remark And Disclaimer
Just to be clear, Blinkist comes as a website or an app, but most people will use the app in regular usage. Therefore, I will use the term “app” throughout the post to refer to the overall service. Moreover, all screenshots are from my own phone using said app. Furthermore, I bought a subscription with a heavily discounted price of $22.50 thanks to a very appreciated Black Friday portion (which you can read as lots of promotional emails from them culminating in a price I deemed pretty alright).
What Is Blinkist?
As someone probably said at some point, the best place to begin is at the beginning. Seeing as that sounds like great advice, let’s begin there. Regarding this app, the beginning starts with an explanation of what Blinkist actually is. According to their site, Blinkist aims to provide:
More knowledge in less time
Perfect for curious people who love to learn, busy people who don’t have time to read, and even people who aren’t into reading.
This is an admirable pursuit, and while the style might not suit everyone, it certainly does me. In a nutshell, Blinkist provides bite-sized, condensed versions of a broad range of books that they call “Blinks.” Depending on your perspective, this is either amazing or completely misses the point of what a book is.
Nevertheless, as I mentioned in the introduction, there is a much better way to use the app than reading. The big reveal is that you can listen to these Blinks read by a range of voice actors (I think) and treat the app as a limitless selection of exciting and informative podcasts! I love listening to podcasts as I drive, but there are only so many that you can subscribe to without becoming a bit bored (apart from My Dad Wrote A Porno, that’s a real hoot).
The best part is that they include an enormous range of topics (mostly non-fiction books) to get your teeth into, from philosophy to nature and the environment. In fact, I have just finished a Blink about the stoic teachings of Marcus Aurelius in his Mediations (stoicism is a philosophical school of thought that I hope to examine in a later post).
It was well-written and highly well-read and provided me with plenty of tidbits to whet my appetite and leave me wanting to explore the subject further. Moreover, as an avid investor, I have just recently found a set of Blink’s from the famous book “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham which I will begin soon.
Ease Of Use
In order to use any service as intended, it needs to be easy to use, and in this regard, the app certainly doesn’t disappoint. As you can see from my screenshot, it has a section to resume the books you are in the process of reading or listening to, followed by a recommended section. Once you have logged in, you can begin using it immediately.
What Kinds Of Books Can You Find On Blinkist?
When I signed up for Blinkist, one of my biggest concerns was whether they would carry the kind of books that I wanted to read. They’ve been doing a reasonably decent job at diversifying their selection of titles, and if the author is more recent and popular, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to find the author’s latest work on Blinkist.
As I have previously mentioned, the selection is great as long as you go into the process understating what you’re getting. This isn’t like Amazon Kindle Unlimited, where you get reams of full-fat books for an easy subscription. Instead, you will receive a large selection of very interesting books that have essentially been summarized into smaller, more readable chunks.
Also, as mentioned, if you prefer going an inch wide and a mile deep, Blinkist might not be for you. Conversely, if you have a voracious appetite for new ideas and are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting topics, it might be a match made in heaven.
How Much Is Blinkist?
This is the question you’ve all been waiting for, and the answer is…it depends! I know, as answers go, that is arguably the most unsatisfying and frustrating pile of nonsense you can get, but it’s true. As you can see from the screenshot below, it starts off at $7.49 USD per month (paid annually as part of an annual plan), which in the current economic climate seems a bit steep for most people.
Moreover, before you can get to the signup page, you have to go through an annoying set-up process, so they can gather information about your interests in order to convince you to subscribe. Nonetheless, you have to consider what you enjoy and if a service like this sounds like it can provide you with enough mental nourishment to make it worthwhile, then go for it.
Furthermore, as I mentioned in the disclaimer, I actually got a very steep discount thanks to Black Friday, so the question you might want to ask would be, would I get it at full price? To that question, my answer would be a resounding no. Not because I don’t think it’s worth it but because I have a limited budget, and Blinkist falls into the discretionary spending category. However, I believe that I would be comfortable spending up to $40 USD for an annual subscription.
This Blinkist review is by far one of the most annoying and confusing that I have ever written (admittedly, I don’t do it very often). On the one hand, I love the service and use it almost every day, but on the other, I cannot recommend getting it at full price. Nevertheless, I will finish by saying that if you can get a discounted annual subscription, you should take advantage of it because you get several features in one.
You get the opportunity to discover a broad range of interesting, exciting, and stimulating titles in practically any niche, and once you find a topic you enjoy, you can dig into it further using your own research. Moreover, you get access to a valuable and highly polished (kind of) podcast service.