Tired of paying for Blinkist just to get the CliffsNotes? Eager to expand your learning beyond what their app allows? You’re in luck – there’s a whole universe of Blinkist alternatives ready to quench your thirst for condensed book wisdom at lower costs – or even free!
Join us on an epic quest for knowledge as we raid the best apps akin to Blinkist, seizing their literary treasures and spoils. We’ll explore exhilarating new formats like dramatic audio narrations, animated video journeys, and humorous story recaps.
Equipped with only 15 minutes a day, you too can gain an edge by extracting the essential insights from today’s top books through this valiant crew of apps noble enough to summarize so you don’t have to. Adventure awaits you and all the page-flipping heroes bold enough to venture with us!
List of Best Apps Like Blinkist (Similar and Best Alternative, Free)
- SparkNotes: Best for literature and plays
- QuickRead – Best free full text alternative
- Best Book Bits – Best for free audiobook and video summaries
- Overdue – Best for fiction classics
- Book Video Club – Best video summaries
- Book Cheat – Best for humorous, concise summaries
- Joosr – Best for latest bestsellers
- 12min – Largest selection of summaries
- Bookbhook – Summaries by top journalists
- Spreaders – Best for productivity focused readers
- getAbstract – Best for business professionals
SparkNotes: Best for literature and plays
- Pros: Free, covers classic literature and plays, good for students, full text summaries
- Cons: Limited selection focused only on commonly studied works
For those looking to get quick summaries of classic literature and plays, SparkNotes is an excellent free alternative similar to Blinkist.
SparkNotes provides free full text summaries and analysis of hundreds of commonly studied literary works including novels, short stories, poems, and plays. Whether you need to refresh your memory on great works like Pride and Prejudice, Catcher in the Rye, or Romeo and Juliet, or dig into Shakespeare plays like Hamlet and Macbeth, SparkNotes has you covered.
The summaries clearly explain plots, characters, key themes, symbols, and more in a concise and easy-to-digest format. This allows you to gain the same insights from these literary classics as you would from a full reading, saving you significant time without sacrificing comprehension.
While SparkNotes’ collection is limited mostly to renowned older works required in English classes, the summaries are just as well-written and informative as Blinkist’s. If your reading interests align closely with curriculum standards, SparkNotes provides an excellent free alternative to quickly understand the must-know literature for students and lifelong learners alike.
The website also offers other helpful study features like analysis of key quotations, essay and test prep tips, and the ability to cite summaries properly in papers. Whether you need to brush up before diving into the original text or want to save time by just reading the summary, SparkNotes offers the core insights from classic literature beloved by students, academics, and casual readers for generations.
QuickRead – Best free full text alternative
- Pros: Completely free, full text summaries, broad selection of bestsellers and classics
- Cons: No audiobook or video options, summaries may lack detail
QuickRead is an excellent alternative to Blinkist if you’re looking for full text book summaries for free. It offers hundreds of summaries of bestselling nonfiction books and literary classics completely free of charge.
While Blinkist limits free users to sample summaries, QuickRead provides the complete summary texts without any subscription fee. The summaries condense books into 15-20 minute reads to allow busy readers to absorb the essential insights quickly.
The summaries contain all the core ideas of the original books distilled down into an easy-to-digest narrative format. QuickRead covers many of the same bestsellers and notable nonfiction works as Blinkist, including titles like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Thinking Fast and Slow, and How to Win Friends and Influence People.
One advantage of QuickRead is the sheer number of summarized titles across business, psychology, economics, philosophy, politics, science, and more – over 250 and growing. The summaries are well-organized, fluent, and skillfully written to deliver the key takeaways in a compact form.
While QuickRead lacks some of Blinkist’s features like audio summaries and annotation tools, its free full text summaries make it accessible for all readers. For absorbing the wisdom from top nonfiction without paying a cent, QuickRead provides an easy to use, completely free Blinkist alternative.
Best Book Bits – Best for free audiobook and video summaries
- Pros: Huge library of free video and audio summaries, good for visual/auditory learners
- Cons: Free text summaries are very short and lack detail
Best Book Bits offers a vast library of video and audio summaries for hundreds of the latest bestselling nonfiction books completely free. The concise summaries efficiently distill the most important ideas and information from each book into a 10-15 minute audiobook or animated video.
This makes Best Book Bits ideal for auditory and visual learners who enjoy the condensed book wisdom in engaging spoken word or eye-catching video formats. The audio and video summaries are well-produced, clearly communicated, and great for learning on the go.
While Blinkist provides audio summaries, they are not free. Best Book Bits allows you to access the same quality voice-over style summaries without any cost. The videos creatively use illustrations, text, animation and narration to vividly capture key book concepts.
For understanding top nonfiction books through convenient audio and video synopses, Best Book Bits matches the core value of Blinkist while offering more multimedia options completely free.
However, the free text summaries on Best Book Bits are very brief and the overall selection is smaller compared to Blinkist’s library. But for free access to audiobook and video summaries, Best Book Bits is a top-notch Blinkist alternative.
Overdue – Best for fiction classics
- Pros: Well-written narrative style summaries of fiction classics, free
- Cons: Very small selection of titles, no audiobook or video options
Overdue sets itself apart by offering beautifully written narrative-style summaries of renowned fiction titles and classics. While Blinkist focuses solely on nonfiction genres, Overdue meticulously summarizes works like The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, 1984, and other famous novels.
The Overdue summaries are a pleasure to read, capturing the essence of the stories and characters in an engaging, story-driven way. Rather than just dry recaps, the summaries read like mini versions of the original books. This allows you to get all the important plot details, themes, and defining elements of classic fiction in just 15 minutes of reading per book.
The selection is understandably smaller than Blinkist’s massive nonfiction library, but covers many of the most studied and widely known literary classics across genres. Whether you need a refresher before diving into the full book or want to experience the magic of a great novel efficiently, Overdue delivers.
The summaries are all available for free and provide a more entertaining, immersive way to absorb fiction than SparksNotes-style study guides. For fiction lovers, Overdue fills a specialized niche that the predominantly nonfiction Blinkist does not.
Book Video Club – Best video summaries
- Pros: Free animated video summaries, visual aid for learning
- Cons: Small selection of titles, no text or audiobook options
Rather than simply reading condensed texts like Blinkist, Book Video Club conveys key insights from top nonfiction books through creatively produced videos around 10-15 minutes long. These animated videos use illustrations, on-screen text, charts and other graphics, voice-over narration, and more to engage viewers and simplify complex ideas.
The videos bring the core concepts and highlights from books to life. Key quotes, definitions, statistics, and graphics are incorporated as visual elements as the narrator summarizes important points. The casual, conversational narration makes the videos easy to follow for a quick overview.
For visual learners or those who enjoy the production value of video, Book Video Club is a great free resource. The videos can also be downloaded for offline viewing. While the selection is relatively small compared to Blinkist, Book Video Club videos provide an eye-catching alternative for absorbing book wisdom efficiently through well-executed animation and narration.
The videos condense books into colorful, dynamic on-screen experiences rather than walls of text. For visual summary seekers, Book Video Club hits the mark.
Book Cheat – Best for humorous, concise summaries
- Pros: Entertaining, to-the-point summaries, free
- Cons: Only ~100 titles, no audiobook or videos
Book Cheat provides extremely short, humorous summaries of classic literature in a biting, satirical tone reminiscent of CliffsNotes or SparkNotes parodies. The summaries boil down plots and themes to just the very core elements, described with heavy snark, sarcasm, and amusing vulgarity.
For example, the entirety of The Great Gatsby summary reads: “Rich dude Gatsby throws lavish parties to impress old flame Daisy. She’s married, but still attenuated. Daisy’s husband is a jerk. There’s booze, cheating, and death. The American Dream sucks.”
While lacking the depth of Blinkist’s professional summaries, Book Cheat’s irreverent wit cuts to the bare essentials of famous book plots in a memorable, funny way. The site is also free and easy to browse for light entertainment.
However, the small selection of ~100 titles means it should not be relied on as a serious study resource. The R-rated humor may also not suit more sensitive tastes.
But for quick, entertaining at-a-glance synopses, Book Cheat delivers crude yet funny Cliff Notes-style summaries as a humorous alternative to the more refined Blinkist.
Joosr – Best for latest bestsellers
- Pros: Summaries of latest popular business and nonfiction books, audiobook options
- Cons: Pricing model can get expensive if you read a lot
While Blinkist features many backlist titles along with new releases, Joosr solely summarizes brand new highly anticipated books, especially in the business category. This allows busy readers to quickly absorb wisdom from today’s thought leaders.
Joosr publishes 5 new book summaries each week, condensed into 15 minute digestible reads. If you want to keep pace and gain key lessons from blockbuster books as soon as they hit shelves, Joosr has you covered before anyone else.
Joosr also offers premium add-ons like expanded summaries and audio narration for bestsellers. The summaries do tend to be a bit shorter and less nuanced than Blinkist’s.
But for concise yet insightful summaries focused like a laser on current bestselling titles across business, leadership, career growth, and more, Joosr provides a timely Blinkist alternative to stay in-the-know on the latest must-read books before others.
12min – Largest selection of summaries
- Pros: Over 5,000 text summaries across genres, affordable annual plan
- Cons: Summaries tend to be short and not very detailed
The sheer volume of titles covered is far beyond what Blinkist offers, spanning bestsellers, classics, biographies, self-help, history, and more. Whether your interests lean towards science, philosophy, technology, business, or literature, you’re very likely to find relevant summarized books on 12min.
However, with such a broad catalog, there is some variability in summary quality. Some summaries feel a bit too short and oversimplified compared to Blinkist’s more consistently well-written and informative style. But the affordable yearly subscription provides access to an unparalleled range.
Overall, those who read widely and value quantity and variety over depth may find 12min to be a superior fit over Blinkist thanks to the enormous selection of titles summarized. It’s an all-you-can-read buffet of book insights covering practically any nonfiction genre or topic one could think of.
Bookbhook – Summaries by top journalists
- Pros: Summaries written by journalists and experts, good for nonfiction
- Cons: Small selection of titles, expensive subscription
Bookbhook makes a strong case as a top Blinkist competitor due to its unique value proposition of having summaries written exclusively by accomplished journalists and experts.
These contributors often have subject matter expertise or experience directly relevant to the books they are summarizing. This lends a degree of authority and competency to the summaries that sets Bookbhook apart.
The summaries read very smoothly and offer astute literary commentary citing key passages and analysis beyond just summarizing plots. This results in very high quality summaries with meaningful insight into the core value of the books, even exceeding Blinkist’s standards at times.
However, the selection of titles is far more limited than Blinkist, concentrated in genres like business, productivity, and self-improvement. The subscription pricing is also on the expensive side, so the service provides more specialized appeal.
But for in-depth, erudite summaries focused on business and nonfiction reads, written by professional writers with impressive credentials, Bookbhook delivers a premium level of quality and commentary in its summaries that make it a leading contender against Blinkist for discerning readers. The expertise behind the summaries is a key differentiation.
Spreaders – Best for productivity focused readers
- Pros: Summaries focus on productivity, self-help, and business titles
- Cons: Narrow selection, most titles require individual purchase
Spreaders specializes in summarizing books on productivity, self-help, personal development, and business – categories that closely align with goals around productivity.
The targeted focus on these genres makes Spreaders stand out as a specialized alternative to Blinkist for readers interested specifically in maximizing their productivity, habits, mindset, and success.
While Blinkist covers some titles in the productivity sphere, their catalog is much more expansive and diluted with many other topics and genres. Spreaders allows productivity-driven readers to efficiently cut through the noise.
The Spreaders summaries highlight actionable advice and tangible takeaways from the top books in the field while leaving out fluff or filler content. The summaries get right to the core insights needed to implement positive changes.
However, the narrow niche focus also means a much smaller overall selection size compared to Blinkist. But each summary is hand-selected based on relevance to productivity. Spreaders curates the must-know concepts from the most valuable books to help readers accomplish more.
For productivity enthusiasts, Spreaders provides laser-focused summaries of the most useful personal growth books, making it a specialized upgrade from Blinkist. The emphasis on practical tips and strategies sets Spreaders apart.
getAbstract – Best for business professionals
- Pros: Summaries of latest business books and articles, personalized recommendations
- Cons: Expensive corporate pricing, limited value for casual readers
getAbstract has emerged as a popular and widely-used alternative to Blinkist, especially among business professionals, for the following reasons:
Specific focus on business knowledge – getAbstract specializes in summarizing business books, articles, reports, and videos from top thought leaders. Their content is all centered around professional skills, leadership, strategy, and workplace insights.
Company solutions – getAbstract offers customized corporate subscription plans that allow organizations to provide on-demand access to relevant business summaries for their teams. This makes getAbstract hugely popular in the B2B realm.
Quality and depth – getAbstract summaries are known for their high quality, with comprehensive analysis and key takeaways tailored for business readers. The summaries provide more depth than Blinkist’s briefer overviews.
Personalization – Users can receive customized book recommendations based on their interests and saved searches. Busy professionals can cut through the clutter more efficiently.
Established reputation – getAbstract has been around since 1999, giving them an established presence and trust. Their extensive business book library and brand recognition makes them a go-to choice.
The combination of reputable brand name, targeted business knowledge, personalization, and robust enterprise solutions has driven strong mainstream adoption of getAbstract as a top alternative to Blinkist for career-driven professionals and companies worldwide.
Blinkist has wonderful features you enjoy, and I’m sure you’re looking for additional reading and writing apps like it. As a result, we attempted to compile a list of the most popular Blinkist competitors in one convenient location. These were our top picks for Blinkist alternatives. I hope you enjoyed it and found our suggestions useful!
There are several excellent apps that can be considered better alternatives to Blinkist based on factors like free access, larger libraries, or unique formats. Top options include QuickRead for free full text summaries, 12min for its vast catalog of over 5,000 summaries, and Joosr for an exclusive focus on latest bestsellers.
Some of the best Blinkist alternatives for condensed book summaries include QuickRead, 12min, Joosr, Overdrive, and getAbstract. All provide similar short format summaries across key nonfiction genres and titles. QuickRead stands out for being completely free.
Both Blinkist and StoryShots offer condensed insights into top nonfiction books. Blinkist summarizes a much wider selection of titles while StoryShots focuses on biographies and memoirs. Blinkist likely provides greater value for most readers with more universal appeal. But StoryShots may be preferable for some biography fans.
There is no legitimate way to access full Blinkist premium features for free indefinitely. The only official free option is a 7 day Blinkist trial. Other apps like QuickRead and Best Book Bits offer free alternatives, but you cannot freely unlock full Blinkist without paying. Trying the trial or exploring similar apps like Overdrive are the best ways to legally enjoy Blinkist-style service without cost.