Reading lists are one of those things that most of us populate but very few of us, constrained mainly by time, can really get to. There is just so much going on and so much that has to be done. Even in our downtime, it sometimes takes a lot to engage with an author’s ideas.
From my own experience, it isn’t that I don’t want to read. But it’s trying to keep track of all the ideas, references and connections. It is sometimes daunting for me to pick up a book because it’s going to lead me down rabbit hole. An idea touched on by the author of one book for example, can have entire libraries dedicated to the subject.
Audiobooks are an alternative. We can do other things while listening to a book. I never quite got the hang of Audiobooks. I often get distracted while listening and then will have to go over a chapter again to catch what I would have missed.
My preference is to still have the copy of the book in my hands or on a device. That’s the only way I can keep myself from straying.
This brings us to Blinkist. An app that takes non-fiction books and condenses them into 15 -20 minutes audio summaries. The book is divided into “Blinks”, which are the summary of the book in chapters.
The App has an extensive library and there is a 7-day free trial for anyone to try out. The trial gives you a free book a day. Unlimited access to their Library costs USD$4.99 a month. They also give the option within the app to purchase the book if you enjoyed the summary and want more.
Today I listened to Layla Saad’s “Me and White Supremacy”. It was 13 minutes long and delved into racial inequality in the United States. Touching on the mischaracterizing of African Americans, Cultural Appropriation and the exclusion of African Americans.
Earlier I said I don’t like audiobooks. But 13 minutes didn’t seem like enough time for me to get distracted and lose track. I found the narration pleasant and engaging. I don’t think that this will substitute reading for me personally. What it did for me was to give me a descriptive overview and I felt like I could comfortably add “Me and White Supremacy” on my list.
For those looking for knowledge on the fly or simply don’t have to sit with a book. This app is worth a try.