I and many of the clients I work with, have the GallupStrengths of “Learner” and/or “Input”.
That means: we love learning, are eternally curious and love gathering information (and books)…. And we want to read allllllll the books about the topics that interest us.
Does that feel familiar to you?
It so often frustrates me that I don’t have enough time to do that.
Did you know that around 2 million new books are published around the globe each year? That number was collected by UNESCO in 2013 and is most likely much higher now.
Stephen Hawking said in his recent book “Brief Answers to the Big Questions”: “If you stacked the new books being published next to each other, at the present rate of production you would have to move at ninety miles an hour just to keep up with the end of the line.”
No wonder it’s been so hard to keep up, fellow readers and book-lovers.
I discovered a solution that works well for me at the moment.
There is an app for that!
A friend (thank you Alison Gitelson!) told me about it a number of years ago, but it was just not the right time for me. Recently I discovered it again when I was doing my German lesson in Duolingo (a language learning app).
It’s called “Blinkist”.
How does it work?
Blinkist currently has around 3,000 book summaries available. They keep adding at the rate of at least 1 book per day. Most of the books have the audio version too. That is so useful for washing dishes, cooking, or folding clothes.
Each book is summarised on a title page with “Who it’s for”, and a high-level overview in a few lines. Then the main points of the book are provided in very short chapters called ‘blinks’.
It’s possible to understand the main points and content of each book in about 15-20 mins (depending on how fast you read).
From reading that summary, I’ve been able to decide whether I really need or want to purchase the whole book. Often there has been one fantastic point that is enough for me to take away.
Other times, I was so inspired and intrigued that I decided to purchase the book. Conveniently, there’s a link from the app right to Amazon to buy it.
Some other great points:
- You can highlight passages and review them again
- You can save books to read later
- When you’ve completed reading one book there are suggestions for similar titles
I’ve found a never ending chain of books on my to-read-list. Fortunately, I can now ‘read’ a book in 15 minutes – or listen to 2 on my daily walk! Glee!
Free or paid?
I started with the free version. They offer a few free books every week. I was happy with that for many weeks… until I saw all the other juicy titles! When Blinkist offered a special price over Black Friday weekend, I jumped at the opportunity and paid an annual fee that I was very happy with.
Blinkist has a 40% discount every few weeks, though. If you get the free version now, you will get the email when there’s a coupon and you can upgrade then if you’ve enjoyed the experience so far.
Here’s the link if you are okay with an affiliate link. Else, just go to your app store and download Blinkist.