Blinkist is now a well-known service for book summaries from a wide variety of subject areas. Based in Berlin, it feels like the only German provider for faster reading or capturing of books. A German-speaking actor who is also active in other languages is getAbstract from Switzerland. You can find a comparison of the two services in this post. But what else does the market have to offer? Not much for summarized books, apparently; a promising looking getAbstract and Blinkist alternative in English seems Instaread be.
Instaread is one of the few Blinkist alternatives. The provider from the USA offers 800+ titles; including book summaries, literature analyzes, own eBooks and content from the New York Times Magazine.
Instaread - Consume the core content of books in minutes
Instaread's slogan is “Key Insights from Books, In Minutes”. On the Homepage of the provider one is lured directly with summaries of bestsellers. In addition, “premium content” is advertised that can be read or listened to. Reading such a premium book summary should take 15 minutes or more. The service can be tried out by means of a free test - but only in English. After all, the company, which was founded in 2016 and currently employs 17 people, is based in San Francisco, USA.
Every provider of book summaries on the web and via app has its own specialist areas. What they all have in common is that there is a great focus on business, economics, self-optimization, politics and the like. Everything that ambitious people believe they need to climb the corporate ladder. In addition, the areas of history and health are usually also covered, so that body and mind are addressed in addition to the hard work.
Instaread has the following book categories:
- Business & Economics
- Social Sciences
- Health & Fitness
Fiction: Analyzes of fiction in a nutshell
When I discovered the category "Fiction" on the Instaread website, I was already worried that novels would be evaporated and thus presented deprived of their creative essence. But instead of a ruffled retelling, it seems a higher quality examination of titles like "To Kill A Mockingbird" (Who disturbs the nightingale), "Pride and Prejudice" (Pride and Prejudice), "The Handmaid's Tale" (The Maid's Report) or To give "The Great Gatsby". Because at least the word adorns Analysis the covers of the individual offers. For the latter title, 30 minutes are allowed for consuming the literature analysis.
In the Instaread category "Fiction" you will find analyzes as secondary literature on fiction bestsellers and classics.
The Instaread catalog: over 800 titles
Instaread relies on a simple and intuitive website and a clear app for iOS and Android. The covers of the summaries are nicely designed and adapted to a corporate identity. There are also own Instaread works and content from the New York Times Magazine. According to its own information, Instaread currently has more than 800 titles - compiled from 2016 to 2019.
For comparison, here are the numbers from Blinkist and getAbstract:
- Blinkist offers 3.000+ titles, 800 of which are in German (active since 2012)
- getAbstract offers 20.000+ titles, 6.000 of them in German (since 1999)
Is Instaread a good Blinkist alternative?
As with getAbstract, there is no general answer to this question. If you don't mind that Instaread only offers English content, then just take a look at the previous range and see if you like it. Then you can draw a direct comparison to the offer of the other mentioned services for book summaries. Perhaps you are also attracted by the provider's own titles and the content of the New York Times Magazine? From the sheer number of content renditions, analyzes, and articles available, I wouldn't make a decision in favor of one of the three offers.
Conclusion on Blinkist, getAbstract and Instaread
The best thing is probably to open a free test account with all three providers and read or listen to them. Because both Blinkist as well as getAbstract and Instaread offer summaries of books in writing and sound. If you like one of the companies better than the other two, you can turn the free account into a subscription membership. So you can permanently benefit from the advantages of the offer or its Pro version. With all three, the offer is also growing, so that Instaread will also be more competitive in the long run;)
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.