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LuckyPup

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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 have. At first glance it appealed to me, but after using it I felt my retention of the material was poor because I was able to consume so many books quickly, but in a very superficial way. Sure, I was able to cover a lot of books quite fast, but eventually, it just became more "clutter" in my head. I'd rather go deep with a book, highlight what I feel is important and reread it again. I'm doing that with Unscripted now, and I've found that the adage, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear", is so true. Every time I read the book I discover a new lesson. It's hard to get that depth of understanding with summaries.
 
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Nice_home

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I have a totally different take on this. Perhaps because my wife (thoughtfully) got me Blinkist for my bday earlier this year as she knows I love reading, so as a gift I appreciate it more.

I had seen lots of ads for this service and I honestly was very averse to it. But when she gifted it to me I decided to give it a chance. I was extremely pleasantly surprised, and since I have “blinked” over 50 books.

A few thoughts others haven’t touched on:

1) I can only deeply read and “think” about 12-24 books per year (I can speed read many more, but that’s more like skimming)—through Blinkist I’ve been exposed to 50 ideas that I would literally never be exposed to because I wouldn’t have time to read 50 additional books. And to get those 50 ideas through traditional reading I would need to spend $500 bucks on books
2) I read a lot of online articles on business etc for research—I think of the blinks as more like “long, in-depth articles”—and I find them much more valuable than the normal article online. A lot of articles online these days are comprised of the same content regurgitated around to different outlets and bloggers (in fact, the full business and personal development books I read are often like that, too). But I’d much rather read a “Blink” which at least is a summary of a whole book, with its own central concept and idea, vs a rehashed or worse, AI created article
3) Blinks are great for filling time while waiting in line at the bank, at the grocery store, while on the bus, etc—I can use time I would literally be standing there doing “nothing” and get exposed to a new idea
4) I actually think the summary in the above post of TMFL is pretty decent—obviously it is no substitute for reading the whole book, but that’s not the point—the point is, I pretty much only Blink books that I will NEVER have time to read in my whole life
5) I have actually really changed my thoughts and actions and experienced substantial life impacts from short article blinks

The bottom line is, can one article change your life? Yes. Can one book change your life? Yes. Can speed reading and skimming a book and getting one idea change your life? Yes. Then reading one blink can also change your life.
 

csalvato

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I have a totally different take on this. Perhaps because my wife (thoughtfully) got me Blinkist for my bday earlier this year as she knows I love reading, so as a gift I appreciate it more.

I had seen lots of ads for this service and I honestly was very averse to it. But when she gifted it to me I decided to give it a chance. I was extremely pleasantly surprised, and since I have “blinked” over 50 books.

A few thoughts others haven’t touched on:

1) I can only deeply read and “think” about 12-24 books per year (I can speed read many more, but that’s more like skimming)—through Blinkist I’ve been exposed to 50 ideas that I would literally never be exposed to because I wouldn’t have time to read 50 additional books. And to get those 50 ideas through traditional reading I would need to spend $500 bucks on books
2) I read a lot of online articles on business etc for research—I think of the blinks as more like “long, in-depth articles”—and I find them much more valuable than the normal article online. A lot of articles online these days are comprised of the same content regurgitated around to different outlets and bloggers (in fact, the full business and personal development books I read are often like that, too). But I’d much rather read a “Blink” which at least is a summary of a whole book, with its own central concept and idea, vs a rehashed or worse, AI created article
3) Blinks are great for filling time while waiting in line at the bank, at the grocery store, while on the bus, etc—I can use time I would literally be standing there doing “nothing” and get exposed to a new idea
4) I actually think the summary in the above post of TMFL is pretty decent—obviously it is no substitute for reading the whole book, but that’s not the point—the point is, I pretty much only Blink books that I will NEVER have time to read in my whole life
5) I have actually really changed my thoughts and actions and experienced substantial life impacts from short article blinks

The bottom line is, can one article change your life? Yes. Can one book change your life? Yes. Can speed reading and skimming a book and getting one idea change your life? Yes. Then reading one blink can also change your life.

Interesting perspective. I like it.

What blinks would you say have changed your life, out of curiosity?
 

Andy Black

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I have a totally different take on this. Perhaps because my wife (thoughtfully) got me Blinkist for my bday earlier this year as she knows I love reading, so as a gift I appreciate it more.

I had seen lots of ads for this service and I honestly was very averse to it. But when she gifted it to me I decided to give it a chance. I was extremely pleasantly surprised, and since I have “blinked” over 50 books.

A few thoughts others haven’t touched on:

1) I can only deeply read and “think” about 12-24 books per year (I can speed read many more, but that’s more like skimming)—through Blinkist I’ve been exposed to 50 ideas that I would literally never be exposed to because I wouldn’t have time to read 50 additional books. And to get those 50 ideas through traditional reading I would need to spend $500 bucks on books
2) I read a lot of online articles on business etc for research—I think of the blinks as more like “long, in-depth articles”—and I find them much more valuable than the normal article online. A lot of articles online these days are comprised of the same content regurgitated around to different outlets and bloggers (in fact, the full business and personal development books I read are often like that, too). But I’d much rather read a “Blink” which at least is a summary of a whole book, with its own central concept and idea, vs a rehashed or worse, AI created article
3) Blinks are great for filling time while waiting in line at the bank, at the grocery store, while on the bus, etc—I can use time I would literally be standing there doing “nothing” and get exposed to a new idea
4) I actually think the summary in the above post of TMFL is pretty decent—obviously it is no substitute for reading the whole book, but that’s not the point—the point is, I pretty much only Blink books that I will NEVER have time to read in my whole life
5) I have actually really changed my thoughts and actions and experienced substantial life impacts from short article blinks

The bottom line is, can one article change your life? Yes. Can one book change your life? Yes. Can speed reading and skimming a book and getting one idea change your life? Yes. Then reading one blink can also change your life.
Nice. That makes a lot of sense. I prefer to skim, get one insight/aha moment, put it down, and think/execute. I just don’t seem to have the patience or desire to deep dive into books anymore.

I also prefer not to clutter up my brain, so probably won’t sign up to Blinkist, but I can see the appeal and benefits.
 

MattR82

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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
I hear that. Listened to a few marketing podcasts that are like 35 mins chat and 5 mins on the actual content in the title. Why bother recording? I Just don't get it.
 

Nice_home

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What blinks would you say have changed your life, out of curiosity?

Blinks that changed my life (these are just off the top of my head without logging into my app to see what I’d read):

Flow - Since reading this Blink, I have pretty much completely restructured my life and time around “intrinsic” (compared to extrinsic) goals; goals under my own control. Going a bit further, if a goal is not under my control, I now deem it a “result.” This has changed my whole goal-setting attitude and helped me greatly manage and reduce stress (which is very high for me in my current situation).

The Wealth of Nations - I wouldn’t be reading this book anytime soon in non-blink form. However, I have been studying business for a while now and had really been pondering in-depth the origin of “value.” Adam Smith pretty much answers that question by saying that value comes from “labor.” And to elevate the results from cheap/unskilled labor, input capital and machines into the system. Really helped me start to pinpoint the meaning of “value.”

Ikigai - Recently read this Blink, a very fresh and different take on finding purpose and living a long life. I had found this book through an intriguing article on the concept. I wouldn’t be reading the book anytime soon (plus I could only find the Spanish version in non-Blink form?), but through this app I could go more in depth into the concept. Essentially, it’s about driving value and finding purpose through an overlap of four concentric circles: what am I passionate about, what am I good at, what would people pay me to do, what does the world need? Still pondering this at the very moment, as I go about my daily Fastlane pursuits. Also has health and stress-reduction tips that are relevant to me.

Various books on healthy eating and veggies - Pretty much totally revamped my diet to include many more veggies as a result of these Blinks (as a helpful part of a bigger process of losing over 20 pounds so far this year).
 

Ronak

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For those curious to try is, AMEX is giving away 1 year free to cardholders. It does ask for a credit card, but won't charge you for a year.


Decided to take the plunge.

I think there's some value there, but you definitely miss out on key points. Based on 2-3 titles that I perused so far, I'd give it a solid B.

2 data points:

1) Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
This has been on my list for awhile, never got around to reading it. Fired up the blinkist app and went through it in 10 mins. Good takeaways, interesting concepts, and I feel like it's better than not reading it. Having said that, I can't compare it to the actual book, so ultimately, I don't know what I don't know.

2) The Coaching Habit
This is one I bought several years ago, started reading, got distracted, and then forgot about it. Fired up the blinkist summary. The main idea I remember reading was there, but missing an important nuance, which I thought could have easily just been included in the summary, but was somehow left out. I continued onto the chapters that I didn't read and found some actionable value there.

In summary, I think it's imperfect and probably misses a lot, but if still better than not reading a given book at all.

There are a lot of books that serve as fancy business cards with lots of filler, with the aim of upselling coaching, speaking, etc. Amazon reviews are not always the best gauge of quality due the gaming of reviews, so this might be a useful substitute.

For the top 1% of great books with actual content, it's definitely better to read the book. For the rest, this might suffice, or at least get you to actually read the book.
 

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I was considering using Blinkist to identify books I should read, or listen to while exercising. The TMF "blink" looked very inaccurate, they didn't even mention CENTS/CENTS ? If Blinkist is not good, is there a better service that has curated audio summaries of popular books? If they have enough info to help me decide whether to get the original book, that would be good enough for me.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I was considering using Blinkist to identify books I should read, or listen to while exercising. The TMF "blink" looked very inaccurate, they didn't even mention CENTS/CENTS ? If Blinkist is not good, is there a better service that has curated audio summaries of popular books? If they have enough info to help me decide whether to get the original book, that would be good enough for me.

Yup absolutely SUCKS. I've actually submitted a request to have the book removed.

How do you OMIT the most important part of the book?

Oh yes, you're BLINKIST.
 

mdot

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is there a better service that has curated audio summaries of popular books? If they have enough info to help me decide whether to get the original book, that would be good enough for me.
Maybe podcasts? Some of them are basically 30 minute discussions about key topics in the guest's book, so you could say it's like an audio equivalent to a summary of the book. You just have to find a podcast formatted that way that features authors of the books you generally like to read. Some podcasts will be heavier on the summary style (e.g. Art of Manliness), while others are more free-form discussion based (e.g. Jordan Harbinger Show).
 

mdot

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Based on my perhaps thousands of hours listening to podcasts and audiobooks, I agree with some of the other posters that podcasts (summaries) are great for exposing you to a large number of concepts you might not otherwise encounter. If a concept strikes you, you have the option to dive deeper by reading or listening to the full book. (Well written) summaries and books work great when they are balanced - too many podcasts and maybe you simply become better than average at trivia, too many books and you're less likely to strike gold on a concept that changes your life.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Yup absolutely SUCKS. I've actually submitted a request to have the book removed.

How do you OMIT the most important part of the book?

Oh yes, you're BLINKIST.

Good news, I've got Blinkist to remove my books.

The molestation of my work ends.
 

Darren Grimerica

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Based on my perhaps thousands of hours listening to podcasts and audiobooks, I agree with some of the other posters that podcasts (summaries) are great for exposing you to a large number of concepts you might not otherwise encounter. If a concept strikes you, you have the option to dive deeper by reading or listening to the full book. (Well written) summaries and books work great when they are balanced - too many podcasts and maybe you simply become better than average at trivia, too many books and you're less likely to strike gold on a concept that changes your life.
what are some of your favorite podcasts? I run a few myself and produce audiobooks. Always looking for new listening material
 

mdot

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what are some of your favorite podcasts? I run a few myself and produce audiobooks. Always looking for new listening material
Right now I mostly listen to Embedded.fm, The Jordan Harbinger Show, @Kak 's Kill Bigger Radio Show, The Art of Manliness, and The Amp Hour. What about you?
 

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Right now I mostly listen to Embedded.fm, The Jordan Harbinger Show, @Kak 's Kill Bigger Radio Show, The Art of Manliness, and The Amp Hour. What about you?
I enjoy the art of manliness. I like No agenda and mysterious universe. I create Grimerica and Grimerica Outlawed. I’m an audiobook addict mostly split my time between this sort of content, personal growth and a ton of great fiction. I join the forum because I’ve read unscripted like four times now and the last time through encouraged me to finally jump on board. We’ve been hard added in the podcast sector for about eight years and my partner was finally able to jump into the unscripted world a few months ago, I’m still semi-scripted but working my way out the door faster then not. I broke the ex-wife rules LOL.
 

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I had Blinkist a long time ago, years ago.

I thought it would digest down the best parts or important parts, maybe with a good summary.

It never did any of that so I cancelled it a long time ago.
 

MJ DeMarco

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It never did any of that so I cancelled it a long time ago.

I suspect their business model isn't optimized to summarize the best content, but to just check a box for their service and keep the new subscriptions coming.

When I told them they molested my book and omitted the most important parts of it, they didn't even bother to fix it. Didn't even offer. You can't get any more direct feedback than that, direct from the author.

As such, I told them to remove my books and I'm happy they're gone.

It seems they simply don't care about their summaries, they are just commoditizing content to pump out to their subscribers, who unfortunately, don't know any better.
 

Darren Grimerica

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I suspect their business model isn't optimized to summarize the best content, but to just check a box for their service and keep the new subscriptions coming.

When I told them they molested my book and omitted the most important parts of it, they didn't even bother to fix it. Didn't even offer. You can't get any more direct feedback than that, direct from the author.

As such, I told them to remove my books and I'm happy they're gone.

It seems they simply don't care about their summaries, they are just commoditizing content to pump out to their subscribers, who unfortunately, don't know any better.
Thanks for the books
 

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There's this startup for a book summaries app called "Shortform" that I've stumbled upon in a FB group. They are trying to improve on things that most users are complaining about Blinkist.

If you look at Shortform's reviews in the app store/google play store, it really isn't that great at all but I still gave it a try anyways.

Indeed, the app is not perfect, it's buggy and even slow at times, it's not great for listening because they used TTS engines to read out in robot voices for their texts.

But if you're interested to read rather than listen, I actually liked how they structured their summaries. They provide a brief 1 page summary but also a full summary by chapters if you'd like to read more, they also included exercises with questions related to the book so that you'd do some thinking of your own and take action too instead of just reading.

I can't say much more about it yet because I'm just on my 3rd day of their (sadly, only) 5 days trial. This app may not be much better/stable than blinkist yet, but they've only been doing this for 1 year +, I think they might be going places in the book summaries niche if they do it right.

Although they don't have MJ's books yet but I'll send them a suggestion and see if they'll do a better job.

One of the reviews on the app store said that Shortform is stealing sales from the authors by making them read their summaries instead of reading the actual book. I'm curious as to what do authors on this forum think about that huh?
 

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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 received a complimentary year-long membership to the service. Never really touched it after using it a few times.

The only benefit I received from the service was to see if I was interested in a book after listening to some of its blinks.

Would I pay for this service and use it after my complimentary subscription? No.
 

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