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Kak

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Does anyone have experience with this?


Do you think the only worthwhile knowledge in most given books can be boiled down to something a tenth the size? A hundredth? I personally don’t.
 

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Jon L

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I haven't subscribed to that particular service, but I subscribed to something similar years ago. I didn't find it useful. It takes me a good long time to let a book sink in. I'm lucky if I can apply 1 or 2 things from each book I read, and that only happens if I spend a significant amount of time with a book. Beyond that, what these summarizers might think is the key point of a book is likely not the point that will make the most difference for me.
 

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Does anyone have experience with this?


Do you think the only worthwhile knowledge in most given books can be boiled down to something a tenth the size? A hundredth? I personally don’t.
Who's doing the condensing? I'd be a little apprehensive about letting someone else do half the learning for me, even if they were a known reliable entity.
 

Dan_Cardone

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No experience with that service in particular but I generally have two problems with services like it:

1) Typically these summaries are too condensed. When I take nakes on a book I typically end up with 10 -15 pages of typed 12pt font notes for the standard length non fiction book. Six pages often over looks many lessons.

2) Often the value of a book isn't the direct information from them but rather the ideas they spark. For instance, I was reading a sales book last week that had absoutley no new information that I didn't already know. This is probably because Ive read over 100 sales books! BUT, because of the way something was written and presented it gave me a great idea that ill likely use to improve the sales process at my company. In summation, the value isn't always in the direct information from the book but often in the ideas the information sparks.
 

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I've tried it. In theory, it sounds awesome. But in reality, I found that my mind needs to focus on a particular idea or concept for more than 30 seconds in order to retain the knowledge and to see how it would be applicable in my business with various examples.

It's useful for getting a quick summary of the book to see if you want to deep dive into it, but I wouldn't consider it a substitute for the full book.

I would rather look at Blinkist from a producer standpoint than a consumer. Love that they are tapping into the "get smart quick" mentality.
 
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Tiago

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I prefer reading books a different way. I read something, and if I get an insight, I close the book.

Books are not only about the information. They are about the space and time you allow yourself to think different thoughts. In that space, insights emerge.

Same reason I don't speed up videos.
 

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No. A good book touches your heart and reveals things through stories that shed light on an area you didn’t know existed in your own heart. A summary will never do that. This is the equivalent of reading the Cliff notes version of a classic. It’s ultimately worthless and only serves to make society more narcissistic. Blech.
 

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I wouldn't pay for this. I use Cliffs Notes to learn the key takeaways from a book before I buy it, and use those takeaways to decide whether or not I actually want to invest the time to read the book
 

MHP368

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I got it and forgot to cancel so got charged for a full year. Its worthless. I don't absorb anything , its kind of like having little interesting tidbit podcasts I suppose.

Without context even an audio learner would have trouble with that , and if youre in an environment where you can take notes then ehats the ebenfit of the audio format? You could just as easily google up a cliff note version.

Heres the top of page highlights of mj's TMF from them (blinkist makes little cliff note text versions too)

1.)You’ll fail if you have the wrong mindset, no matter how much you earn.

2.)The conventional path to wealth is unsound.

3.)You don’t need a flashy degree to get wealthy.

4.)Wealth doesn’t equal money, but money can increase your wealth.

5.)Becoming a millionaire is the result of a process, not one “big hit.”

6.)To get really rich, think like a producer, not like a consumer.

7.)If you want to be a millionaire, forget the saying “do what you love.”

8.)A business that’s worth entering can’t be entered without effort and isn’t open to everyone.

Final summary

The key message in this book:

A lot of us try to safeguard our future the traditional way: find a good job, work hard for about 40 years and save everything we can for retirement. Yet this way leads to lifelong servitude and there’s no guarantee you’ll end up rich. There’s another way, though: pinpoint a good market niche, work out a business plan and take a few years of effort to build a system that generates income, even when you’re not working.

...now...I feel like that didn't really nail it, And if you'd heard the summary or read the 8 pages would any of that click anyway. You need to be able to absorb and reflect on ideas , let them stew a bit , you should be able to teach someone else something youve learned. None of that you get with blinkist.

I would listen to three books on the way to work and have 4 or 5 possible interesting ideas to share with coworkers over coffee , thats about it. Then id move on to something else and forget id ever heard it. Sticking with the podcast comparison if id listened to a part of a podcast its going to be more memorable because its within the larger context of that show.

So I dont think blinkist is a useful tool.
 

Nick M.

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I tried it a year or two ago, and it's not worth the money or the time for two reasons.

It doesn't summarize the book

In theory, a book summary would be nice. However, when I've read their summaries after reading a book, I'm left disappointed by how much information is left out. I'm not against summaries, but thinking that you can use it as a tool to reference later doesn't do the book justice.

It doesn't describe the book

For curiosity, I tried using Blinklist to find new books to read. However, any time I read the book it felt like the summaries didn't even give a synopsis. Not only was too much information left out, but the message from the book was different than the message from the summary. Perhaps my takeaways were different than theirs, but it was never the same.

Blinklist is instant gratification. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Oh, and there are much better summaries online for free.
 

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I wouldn't pay for this. I use Cliffs Notes to learn the key takeaways from a book before I buy it, and use those takeaways to decide whether or not I actually want to invest the time to read the book
This to me. We have limited time so need to be selective in where we place that focus. I have bought many a book and felt cheated at the end of it, not from the cost incurred in money (what's a few dollars), but the time I wasted on something that promised so much more than it gave.

Being able to read a good summary first helps to decide if I feel I can gain the knowledge I seek.

I find Youtube channels like @Bekit shared and sites like:

invaluable. As are good book reviews and I always read the customer comments on Amazon (both good and bad).

Also what @Dan_Cardone mentioned resonated with me. I've even had works of fiction (no I'm not talking Rich Dad Poor Dad);) create moments of enlightenment when you read words in a story and take them totally out of context and get a eureka moment that you can apply successfully to your business.

From the sounds of @Primeperiwinkle thread on Atlas Shrugged there might well be a wealth of moments of clarity and insight in that book.
 

SamRussell

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You can read a list of ideas pretty easily, but they may not make much sense until the "penny drops". And it's reading a full book and thinking it through which will create those moments.

If you need to regurgitate stuff for an exam, this method is fine, but if you want to learn something, I don't think you'll find much value in it
 

Andy Black

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Does anyone have experience with this?


Do you think the only worthwhile knowledge in most given books can be boiled down to something a tenth the size? A hundredth? I personally don’t.
I've never tried it, but I can imagine how it could help. Sometimes I put a book down after only reading the first two pages of the prologue because I got some aha moment that I want to think about and act on. I don't necessarily need to read a whole book to get an aha moment relevant to me.

I'd love to find a good summary of "Give and Take". I listened to it once through and didn't make notes. It's too damn long and full of too many footnotes for me to go through again.
 
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Kak

Kak

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I've never tried it, but I can imagine how it could help. Sometimes I put a book down after only reading the first two pages of the prologue because I got some aha moment that I want to go think about and act on. I don't necessarily need to read a whole book to get an aha moment relevant to me.

I'd love to find a good summary of "Give and Take". I listened to it once through and didn't make notes. It's too damn long and full of too many footnotes for me to go through again.
This is what I was ultimately thinking the value could be. Or as a supplement to an audio book. With audiobooks I sometimes miss the subtle points I would have gotten out of the physical book. I view audiobooks as more of an 80 percent book reading experience...

In the case of Hayek, don't even consider audio. It was almost impossible for me to follow. It was almost strenuous trying to listen for punctuation.
 

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I was offered the trial and I used it to peek at Das Kapital (lol), some book on econ fused with buddhism and some other classic... I think The Prince by Machiavello?

I feel I can get the same value for free by checking the table of contents. It must be what Tai Lopez uses to claim he reads a billion books per week.

I got a "feel" for what they talked about, but like with TMF you would be misguided if you read that without reading the development of each idea.
 

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S.Y.

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I used it a while back.

It can be useful to "skim" / inspect a book before actually reading it. Or to quickly get the big lines of a topic.

The first thing I do when picking up a book is jumping around. Reading here and there. Start with chapters that get my attention. Many books get dropped there. Blinkist is kinda decent for this.

For a proper understanding, I will still go with an actual book. I like to have "conversation" with authors. There is a lot of value in the their thinking process and how they arrive to specific conclusion.

--
Great resource on reading
 
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Kak

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Lucky Lu

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Well I used to be subscribed to a similar service. I can remember having it used to read a condensed version of "How to stop worrying..." and I must said it was not horrible. Of course a lot of unfilled blanks but as an overview it was rather useful. Still prefer the old and complete way.
 

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Does anyone have experience with this?


Do you think the only worthwhile knowledge in most given books can be boiled down to something a tenth the size? A hundredth? I personally don’t.
I feel that most knowledge is best acquired through subconscious brainwashing - listening to a book for 10 hours, and slowly over time having your brain rewire itself to think different as long as you agree with the info presented.

I've tried bullet points. They're interesting, but don't allow your brain to adapt the info as well for long lasting impact.
 

MitchM

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I got it and forgot to cancel so got charged for a full year. Its worthless. I don't absorb anything , its kind of like having little interesting tidbit podcasts I suppose.

Without context even an audio learner would have trouble with that , and if youre in an environment where you can take notes then ehats the ebenfit of the audio format? You could just as easily google up a cliff note version.

Heres the top of page highlights of mj's TMF from them (blinkist makes little cliff note text versions too)

1.)You’ll fail if you have the wrong mindset, no matter how much you earn.

2.)The conventional path to wealth is unsound.

3.)You don’t need a flashy degree to get wealthy.

4.)Wealth doesn’t equal money, but money can increase your wealth.

5.)Becoming a millionaire is the result of a process, not one “big hit.”

6.)To get really rich, think like a producer, not like a consumer.

7.)If you want to be a millionaire, forget the saying “do what you love.”

8.)A business that’s worth entering can’t be entered without effort and isn’t open to everyone.

Final summary

The key message in this book:

A lot of us try to safeguard our future the traditional way: find a good job, work hard for about 40 years and save everything we can for retirement. Yet this way leads to lifelong servitude and there’s no guarantee you’ll end up rich. There’s another way, though: pinpoint a good market niche, work out a business plan and take a few years of effort to build a system that generates income, even when you’re not working.

...now...I feel like that didn't really nail it, And if you'd heard the summary or read the 8 pages would any of that click anyway. You need to be able to absorb and reflect on ideas , let them stew a bit , you should be able to teach someone else something youve learned. None of that you get with blinkist.

I would listen to three books on the way to work and have 4 or 5 possible interesting ideas to share with coworkers over coffee , thats about it. Then id move on to something else and forget id ever heard it. Sticking with the podcast comparison if id listened to a part of a podcast its going to be more memorable because its within the larger context of that show.

So I dont think blinkist is a useful tool.
The very idea of someone listening to such a “summary” of TMF is almost offensive.

To think that people can listen to that and think they’ve extracted the value that there is to be extracted... these people are missing out on something that could actually transform their lives.

I’d go as far as to say that this service is actually doing a disservice to the listener if they are doing anything other than using it as a supplement to remind them of some key points from a book they’ve already read.

A great book is great because through the process of trying to actually get ideas to click with people, you actually need to communicate an underlying philosophy.

An author is bringing you into their world, and in doing so making yours bigger.

That’s why stories are so important.

A great book is not simply a vacuous extrapolation on some key ideas.

A great book is its own world that stands in conflict with other worlds, and must therefore have strong foundations.

I hate this because it’s so ignorant of what’s really happening when we read, and if not ignorant - then narcissistic.

An author’s work is not simply a toolbox for you - the hero - to pull from. It’s its own journey for the reader to interact and transform through.

Edit: Also, I’m not saying that there’s no value to be derived from this. You can see whether or not you want to read a certain book, look back on books you’ve read for reminders, and stimulate some new ideas.

It’s just that I get the feeling that it’s more marketed towards actually delivering the main value of a book, and that’s what I really F*cking hate.
 

MattR82

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Always sounded lazy to me and shortcutting the process. Life hack and shortcut stuff like this really annoys me for some reason.

I've met a fair few people in the last few years that I swear think they can listen to a super shortened version if an audio book while half asleep and it uploads into their brain like something from the matrix movie lol. We're not robots.
 
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It's the difference between a one night stand and a long term relationship.

One, you will definitely remember in ten years, the other you won't.
 

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I used Blinkist to get exposure to several books. At the time it felt like it was helpful.

Several years after listening to the blinkist versions I read the full version or listened to the full audio books of nearly every blink.

It was a night and day comparison and I felt like I wasted Years thinking I understood these books but had no idea.

I would actually say Blinkist is an action fake and detrimental to progress. It’s just another way of having someone else do the thinking for you, which is horrifically dangerous.

To reiterate: I believe Blinkist is not just useless but harmful
 

Walter Hay

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If the summary is written by the author, it is more likely to have more value, unless it is just the free bait to promote a sale of the book.

I know that lectures are a different topic, but there could be some lessons to learn by considering lectures and even podcasts.

The few podcasts that I have listened to have been frustrating due to the inane conversations that so often seem to be an essential component. There is often a huge amount of repetition, and the amount of real information is very little return for the time it takes to listen all the way through.

A couple of years ago, a group to which I belong were asked to record lectures on their favorite subjects or areas of expertise. The normal time such a lecture would take would be 45 minutes, but all were strictly limited to 10 minutes.

All of the peer reviews stated that they learned as much as they usually learned from the long lectures, and that those 10 minute lectures were far more interesting.

Walter
 
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csalvato

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If the summary is written by the author, it is more likley to have more value, unless it is just the free baith to promote a sale of the book.

I know that lectures are a different topic, but there could be some lessons to learn by considering lectures and even podcasts.

The few podcasts that I have listened to have been frustrating due to the inane conversations that so often seem to be an essential component. There is often a huge amount of repetition, and the amount of real information is very little return for the ti9me it takes to listen all the way through.

A couple of years ago, a group to which I belong were asked to record lectures on their favorite subjects or areas of expertise. The normal time such a lecture would take would be 45 minutes, but all were strictly limited to 10 minutes.

All of the peer reviews stated that they learned as much as they usually learned from the long lectures, and that those 10 minute lectures were far more interesting.

Walter
Sounds like the podcasts you listen to suck, maybe?

Masters of Scale at 2x speed is like gold nugget after gold nugget within 30 mins. Same for how I built this.
 

Andy Black

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I had never heard of it until today. Let us know how you like it!
I cancelled. I thought it might have been one successful business owner's take on various business books. Instead it was like a book study club, with exercises etc. It's a one month free trial so there was no money down. I only skimmed the content. A turnoff to me was that part of the package is joining a 1,200 strong Facebook group of people who'd signed up. It's all very well done, but feels too much like school to me.
 

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