Is Blinkist Worth It? Honest Blinkist Review From A Real User [Jan 2024]

I’m using it for over 3 years as paying subscriber (+ a cool 40% discount code)

Ilam Padmanabhan
13 min readOct 3, 2023
Is it as good as they say it is!

Here’s 10 second summary of this review:

Blinkist is the best book summary app in the market — it is like the iPhone of book summary apps, but at Android prices.

It has over 6500+ titles, summary qualities are excellent, the app is fantastic and the pricing is great! No other app is even close in delivering as much value for money!

Convinced? I’ve got you a cool Blinkist discount code that makes it 40% cheaper!

Try Blinkist with a 40% Discount!

I have been using Blinkist for over 2 years now. There is not another app on my phone I treasure as much as I do with Blinkist.

Yes, I know I’m over selling it. Yes, I know that Blinkist (& all book summary apps) have their flaws. But it is the one of the apps that I have put on my home screen to remind me constantly to use it for years!

I have written this 2500+ word blog to go through as much as possible to help you make a decision to try Blinkist for FREE. It is literally one of the least risky decisions you’ll ever take in your life.

Downside — You’ll try Blinkist for FREE and hate it. Nothing lost (except a few minutes of your time)

Upside — You might have picked a life-changing habit, and listened to 120+ summaries like I did (in addition picking up a dozen full books) and write a glowing review some years later.

Try Blinkist with a 40% Discount!

Here’s a video version of this post!

Note: Some of these may be affiliate links. I may earn a coffee or two when you buy a subscription (at no extra cost to you). I live in Denmark, and at the current discounts Blinkist offers, probably only a shot of Espresso.

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What’s covered in this post

  • Blinkist Review — 1 minute version
  • Blinkist — Detailed review
  • Top Blinkist alternatives
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Blinkist

Blinkist Review — 1 minute version

  • 6500+ titles covered — including most of the top bestsellers. Probably every non-fiction book you’ve ever put on your wishlist.
  • High quality summaries — great voice narrations + intelligent use of music to keep you engaged.
  • Great app ecosystem — Easy to use design, works synchronized on all kinds since the invention of iPhone 3 + your car + Androids.
  • Two for One offer — buy one subscription & share with another person for FREE (Netflix needs to learn a thing or two from Blinkist)
  • Additional content (shortcasts, podcasts & even some infographics) — In addition to book summary
  • Excellent pricing — $8/month, paid annually (cheaper than a cup of coffee at Copenhagen airport)
  • Best value for money — 6500+ titles, high quality, excellent pricing: nothing else even comes close

Convinced? Stop reading and Try Blinkist with a 40% Discount!.

Need more? Let’s dive in!

Blinkist Review — The full version

I’ve got it all (I think)!

Title Collection

Blinkist offers 6500+ non-fiction titles.

That is big. If you listened to one book summary a day, you’ll need around 7 years to listen to them all. Well, not true — Blinkist keeps adding a few dozen each month, so you might need to pick the pace a bit.

What titles? The most popular ones, the best sellers, the dark horses. Even the books you should have read, but didn’t even hear about.

Business books, self-help, technology — everything is covered. Here are all the 27 categories covered on Blinkist!

Book categories on Blinkist

You love James Clear — covered!

Jim Rohn — yes sir!

Time Ferriss — Of course!

Robert Kiyosaki — yeah!

Obamas — are you kidding? — This is the Obamas — of course the summaries are slightly longer than the usual 15 minutes!

The Obama collection - there's more

Blinkist also tries to nudge to reading/listening by showing you titles that may pique your interest. It has been a hit and miss for me, more hits in the recent past as AI is getting more advanced.

Blinkist recommendations for me

Summary Quality — Text and audio format

When you buy a car, you look at a lot of things but you mainly look at the engine and the safety. That is what the book summary quality is for book summary services.

The size of the title collection, pricing etc., all matter. But nothing matters as much as the quality of the summary. When you sit down on the couch (or toilet seats) and start reading (or listening to) summaries, you need value for those 15 minutes.

Remember, even ChatGPT can give you summaries (or dozens of other websites) — but the point is building a sustainable habit.

In my case, when I put on the headset and open the Blinkist app, I need value for the 15 minutes. I need something that’ll help me not switch back to Instagram or Facebook (I’ve never been a TikTok guy).

Blinkist delivers a solid 9.5/10 here. The summary qualities are top notch.

The audio versions are even better. The narrator manages to deliver the key ideas of the entire book without boring me. I also must highlight the clever use of music when delivering the key insights! Blinkist uses music for the same reason as reels — to keep you engaged. Non fiction books are pretty dry, and I don’t mind Blinkist using whatever is needed to get me listening to Blinkist summaries.

In summary, about the summaries — TOP CLASS!

Here’s my badge of honor on Blinkist!

I’ve listed to 125 books on Blinkist so far!

Blinkist Pricing

Driving a Ferrari is cool, but what is is even better — you can actually afford it.

Blinkist is the Ferrari of book summary apps, at the price of a Ford.

Blinkist is the iPhone of book summary apps, but at the price of android phones (not talking about those expensive Samsung ones).

That is all great, but how much does Blinkist cost?

The Blinkist subscription post the free trial is $7-$8 per month paid annually (approx. $90 per year). If you choose to pay monthly, then the Blinkist premium plan costs around $15/month. If you break it down, it is less than 25 cents a day — when did you last think about spending 25 cents a week?

But the first 7 days are free regardless with unlimited access, so try Blinkist for a week before you decide.

For the value it delivers, Blinkist is the most value for money. No other book summary service even compares.

Top Blinkist alternatives

What about the other book summary services you may ask — here we are! Blinkist is the best book summary subscription service in town, but not the only one. There are some worthy competitors. Let’s look at the top two — getAbstract & Headway app.

getAbstract

I stumbled on getAbstract first before I discovered Blinkist. I had read Rolf Dobelli’s book — The Art of Thinking Clearly and came away very impressed. He beautifully ( & crisply) narrated the various biases we have and didn’t have me reading 5000+ pages to understand it all.

Blinkist vs getAbstract

Try getAbstract for FREE (3 days)

I researched him more and realized he actually runs a book summary service — enter getAbstract! I subscribed immediately — the library is the largest in the market with over 25000+ titles, and the summary qualities were excellent. I moved to Blinkist a couple of months later once I had discovered it. At around $30 a month, getAbstract was a bit expensive for me.

If you want something better than Porsche, getAbstract it is. If you can afford it, getAbstract is the absolute best book summary service.

Headway App

Try Headway app for FREE (7 days)

Headway app is almost as popular as Blinkist and holds the reputation of being very affordable (but only by about $1 a month on yearly subscription).

Headway app offers around 1500+ titles including some of the most popular bestsellers. It also offers some infographics (at an extra cost). The app design is similar to Blinkist, but I find the book summary qualities slightly better on Blinkist when comparing the same actual book on both platforms.

If you are tempted to go for the slightly cheaper option, check if the particular book is available on Headway app before starting your subscription.

Headway does not offer a free account, and subscription costs are way higher if you choose the monthly plans ($20/month).

Are book summaries a replacement for reading full books

No, book summary apps cannot replace reading a full book.

Book summary services aren’t designed to replace reading full books. What they offer is

  • Remove the fluff: Book summary apps remove the fluff from reading. If there are 5 examples to make the same point, they use one. If the author says the same point 5 times across various chapters, book summary apps cut it out. They are like gold miners — they mind for the gold and leave out all the dirt.
  • Save time: Extending the above argument, you save time, and also get more for the time you do invest
  • Explore more genres/books: If you can read the summary in 15 minutes instead of reading the entire book in 6 hours, you gain the ability to explore more titles and even explore genres you’ve typically not even considered reading
  • Build new healthy habits: All the features of Blinkist are designed towards gamified learning. If you give it a chance, it can create new healthy habits for you.
  • Save money: Imagine buying a book just because of the rave reviews only to find out it wasn’t as great for you. Now you can assess with a 15 minute summary to make that financial decision. In my case, ‘The Midnight Library’ was a regret. I put down the book half-way through.

Frequently Asked Questions about Blinkist

Is the Blinkist library big enough?

Blinkist offers 6500+ titles across 27 categories including most of the top best sellers in the non fiction genre. If you listened to one summary a day, it would take almost 6–7 years to finish all the titles offered on Blinkist. Blinkist also keeps updating its library with dozens of new titles each month, so you better hurry up if you plan to read/listen to everything on Blinkist’s library.

Is Blinkist worth it?

Blinkist offers high quality summaries of over 6500+ titles, podcast summaries and shortcasts at an extremely affordable price of $8/month (paid annually). It also gives you an offer to share a subscription with a friend completely free, making it only $4/month. When you put it all together, Blinkist is the best value of money of all the book summary apps out there.

Try Blinkist risk free.

Moreover, using an app like Blinkist is a great replacement for social media addiction and doom scrolling. Imagine spending 15 minutes on improving your life everyday instead of watching news or social media feeds.

What is the downside of Blinkist?

Sometimes you might feel like the summary didn’t do justice to the original book and it is also the case with Blinkist. A key idea may have been covered as a short blink, but needed 25 pages on the book — some find find this too short and over simplifying complex concepts.

Some might also find the narration a bit boring, or too robotic (though Blinkist has real humans for narration). A few might also forget that they bought an annual subscription after a few weeks and drain the money down.

Will Blinkist work for me?

Blinkist can work for you if

  • You are an avid reader and want to discover more titles worth your time and money
  • You want to build good habits towards improving your life
  • You want to explore multiple books & learn the key ideas without having to read them completely
  • If you think $8/month is worth investing on yourself

Are 15 minutes audiobook summaries enough to understand what’s in the book?

Most of the times — yes! Book summaries tend to compress a complex idea into a simplified version and deliver justice to the actual book. However, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of reading a a complete book is different to listening/reading only the summary.

How much does Blinkist cost?

The monthly subscription costs around $15. The cost is reduced by almost 50% when you pay annually at $8/month (around $90/year). You can share the subscription for free with another person — so you can basically pay $4/month if you share the subscription.

If you are unsure, take a free trial. If you like the quality and find all the books you are after — go for the annual subscription.

Try Blinkist risk free.

Is Blinkist free (or) How can I get Blinkist for free?

Yes, it is free for the first 7 days. Once the free trial is over, you can continue to stay as a free subscriber and could potentially get one summary daily for free.

If you are a verified student, you should try getAbstract. It offers a completely free version for students covering over 5000+ titles.

What is the point of Blinkist?

Blinkist aims to distill key ideas of a non-fiction books into a 15 minute summary — both audio and text version. It covers mainly non-fiction titles but also is now offering some classic fiction titles as well.

Will Blinkist work offline?

Yes, Blinkist offers the ability to download titles via the app. You can read and listen to the summaries offline as well.

Can you listen to full books on Blinkist?

No, Blinkist does not offer full books on its platform.

Is Blinkist better than reading?

Reading or listening to a book summary on Blinkist has a completely different purpose to reading (or listening to) a full book. When you read a book, you go through the journey along with the author — all the ebbs and flows, examples, stories and the explanations. With a book summary, you are simply trying to grasp the key insights and ideas from the book without having to go on the journey.

Imagine watching the entire game of football as reading the full book. Then a book summary would be like watching the highlights.

Why do book summary services cover only nonfiction books?

When you read fiction, it is primarily entertainment. You need all the little details, the small stories, the seemingly insignificant characters that grow later and more. Skipping a few pages or condensing would basically remove the fun out of the reading.

With non fiction books, the primary intent is to learn, gain knowledge and improve your life. Summarizing complex ideas is still possible without losing the essence and redundant examples.

What Does the Blinkist Premium Subscription Include?

The Blinkist premium subscription offers unlimited access to over 6500 book summaries across various genres. Subscribers enjoy high-quality audio narrations, the ability to read summaries offline, and exclusive content like podcasts and shortcasts. The premium plan enhances the reading and learning experience with additional features tailored for avid readers.

How Extensive is the Collection of Blinkist Titles?

Blinkist boasts a vast collection of titles, with over 6500 summaries available. These titles span across 27 categories, ensuring a wide range of topics, from business and self-help to technology and personal development. This extensive library is constantly updated, providing fresh and relevant content for subscribers.

Can I Trust This Honest Review of Blinkist?

Yes, this review is an honest assessment from a long-term Blinkist user. Blinkist and Audible are the only apps that I have been a paying subscriber for years. I aim to provide an unbiased perspective, highlighting both the strengths and potential drawbacks of the service. As with any review, it’s based on personal experience and may vary for different users. Here’s a sneak peak at my personal collection at Blinkist.

My personal library on Blinkist

Is It Possible to Read Summaries on Blinkist Without a Subscription?

While the premium subscription offers unlimited access, Blinkist also provides a free plan. This plan allows users to read summaries of selected books for free, offering a taste of what Blinkist has to offer. However, the selection is limited compared to the premium subscription.

Are Free Summaries Available on Blinkist?

Yes, Blinkist offers free summaries under its free plan. Users can access a daily curated selection of book summaries without any cost. This feature is ideal for those who want to explore Blinkist’s offerings before committing to a premium subscription.

How Comprehensive are Blinkist Summaries?

Blinkist summaries are designed to capture the essence of the books they cover. While they provide a comprehensive overview of the main ideas and themes, they are not a substitute for reading the full book.

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I’m write this in late 2023, a full year after I started affiliate marketing. I’m part of dozens of affiliate programs & promote a few dozen products but Blinkist is the closest to my heart (Audible is a close 2nd).

I could be making my millions selling crypto and all those fancy banking products you wouldn’t understand, but here I’m — choosing to promote something that pays me very little (& might even make me look silly).

Why — because it MAY change your life. One good habit is all you need to reverse the doom scrolling. I genuinely believe that a book summary app may be your ‘get out of your jail card’ in the era of social media shitstorm.

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There is no book summary app named as blinkest as far as I know. It still gets over 4000+ searches every month. All the top 20 results on Google relate to Blinkist, I assume they mean the same.

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Ilam Padmanabhan

Love to read and write about Software Engg, Agility, QA, Future of Humanity, AI, Books, Travel, Politics, Climate Change, Personal Finance, Writing & Life!