Year after year at the turn of the year I have the resolution “read more books”. And year after year I do not keep it. Usually, the attraction of Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube is greater than the obligatory book on my nightstand.
The problem is rarely that I’m not interested in the books themselves – I usually start out expectantly and then give up before page 100 because the texts just don’t manage to captivate me in the long run. This may be due to the fact that some authors often repeat important statements in their books simply paraphrased to make their point clear (looking at you Stefanie Stahl with “The Child Within You Must Find a Home”) or, and this is much more likely because I have irreparably destroyed my attention span through the internet.
Wherever it comes from, to get the core statements of entire non-fiction books read out in only 15 minutes already makes my old student heart beat faster.
So I download the Blinkist app and get started.
You are welcomed by a simple white screen with the Blinkist logo. A few slides with explanations and the possibility to register or log in. I register, which, as expected, is extremely simple and straightforward using Google Sign-In (Facebook, Apple and the classic registration by e-mail are also possible).
After the login, you will land almost directly in a screen, which offers you the advantages of a yearly subscription, with the hint that you can test the app for seven days for free – after that 79,90€ will be deducted if you don’t cancel in time. At first glance, the only other choice is to display the other subscriptions which, besides the annual subscription, only includes a monthly subscription of 12,90€/month. So about 50% more expensive.
The free subscription, where you can listen to/read a daily summary selected by Blinkist, is unfortunately not mentioned here.
To get to the titles and to use the (free) service, the screen has to be closed by an unfortunately not intuitive and a bit hidden “back”-arrow.
For me, the whole thing was a little too pushy for the first moment and at first, I really thought that I only had the choice between annual and monthly subscription.
But after you’ve made it, an almost endless selection of titles in German and English awaits you. From bestsellers such as “The Child Within You Must Find a Home” (maybe I’ll manage to “read” it completely with Blinkist) to international bestsellers such as “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari to classic works such as “The Interpretation of Dreams” by Sigmund Freud, you’ll find everything you need.
I find at least every second title exciting or had already planned to read it anyway.
However, I am critical of the fact that Blinkist uses stock photos for almost all of his thumbnails, which made it a little more difficult for me personally to choose since you have a strong recognition value with book covers. Titles alone are often not enough unless you know exactly what you want to read/hear.
There’s a certain comedy about it when, in the autobiographical book “Born a Crime” by South African comedian Trevor Noah, it’s not him looking at you from the cover, but a random other male person hidden in a bush. Blinkist gallantly avoids the copyright.
But now to the exciting part of the story – the summaries.
Since I had not yet decided to subscribe, the only option I had left was to listen to the book of the day. Today it is “The secret bond between man and nature” by Peter Wohlleben. Actually not really my topic, but unfortunately, I have no other choice.
Blinkist summarized the 240-page book to 15 minutes listening or reading time and divided it into 10 equal parts, so-called blinks.
I listen attentively for a quarter of an hour to a very pleasant voice as it reads the summary to me and afterward I feel as if I really learned something. Trees have something like a heartbeat, humans even “see” through their sense of touch and are evolutionarily connected with fire.
You can imagine the information content a little bit as if you try to remember a reading book after half a year. One probably still knows the important key data and findings, but definitely no more details.
Blink is the perfect companion for a generation with too little time but a great thirst for knowledge. Contents are presented briefly and concisely and offer the possibility to grasp rough contexts within a short time.
Of course, the service does not replace a complete reading of a book. However, the summaries are an excellent aid in deciding whether or not to delve deeper into a topic.
So I can recommend everyone to sign up for at least Blinkist Basic and give it a try.