Audio books and e-books have never been more popular than they are right now and yet the time we have to listen or read these books has never been more scarce!
Many of us just do not have the time to devote 10 or more hours to a new book, especially business books and those books which help with personal and professional development. We don’t know if we will get much out of these books so it can be an risky proposition to start a long read or listen when really we’re just looking for the core themes and theories and not always the nuance and the minutiae that follows.
So, how do I reconcile this problem?
What is Blinkist?
Blinkist is a service which compresses books down to the salient points and filters out irrelevant information. How does it do this? By taking books and reducing them down to 10-20 minute short reads by creating ‘blinks’ from the most important points in the book. These blinks then act as sort of waypoints to the book and you can jump from blink to blink allowing you to touch on all the major arguments in the book while excluding the parts that maybe aren’t as relevant to the book’s subject matter.
Reading, Listening, and Viewing on Blinkist
Upon opening Blinkist you will see the three main sections; Discover, Library, and Profile. In the discover section you will see that the app will curate content based on your reading history and your interests, allowing you to find new reads you did not previously know about. There’s also a trending sub-section which really helps you stay current!
When you do find something you want to read you just click on the book and you will be presented with the option to either read or listen to the blinks. Now, not every book has an audio version available but many will and it is my preferred way of consuming the content. Listening to the blinks while walking my dog, Farley, is a great way to distract from the smells wafting over from the nearby farms! At the top of the screen is the Blinks icon, it will look like bullet points on a page. Clicking the Blinks icon will allow you to navigate through the book either by reading short text-based recaps of the major points, or by listening to short audio files of those major points. Opening a Blink takes you to the text version, and, if available, clicking the headphone icon in the top right will take you to the audio version of the Blink. Blinkist even lets you playback the audio at faster than 1x speed, something not enough apps have embraced! This is great for those people looking to consume even more content in a crunch!
In addition to the option to either read or listen to the Blinks, Blinkist provides some tools for managing specific excerpts from the Blinks that you might want to save for later. While in the text format Blinks you can highlight passages, quotes, statistics, or just interesting blurbs and either save them to your profile or share them directly from the app to your social media. It’s a great tool for content creators who need pull quotes for their materials!
Blinkist is my go-to tool for reading and listening to books that I really just want to distill into a few key points. I find it especially great for those in social media marketing and more broadly the business world. It has allowed me to consume more content, in less time, more efficiently and has some nice added functionality tie-ins with social media.
Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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