I am a big proponent of Continuing Education. I saw a Tweet recently by a IEEE colleague (@DevonRyan) extolling the virtues of Blinkist. Blinkist provides insightful summaries of non-fiction books (1000+ and growing) that can be read in about 15 minutes each using your web browser. These can also be read use their mobile App (available for both Android and iOS) and you can listen to the audio versions.
These allow the reader to read and absorb a tremendous amount of information without dedicating too much of our increasingly scarce free time. Now this is a service that does not come free (well, it does sort of).
If you check the available plans, there are three:
- Blinkist Free (Free), read one pre-selected book per day, browse the catalog
- Blinkist Plus ($49.99/yr)- any title, read off-line
- Blinkist Premium ($79.99/yr) – All features of Plus as well as ability to listen to audio
I joined a few days ago and have read their summaries of two books. I can see where it is helpful, but clearly condensing a full book into what can be read in just 15 minutes must skip over a lot of material. However I can see where reading the summaries would be useful to point you at which books you might want to devote more time to.
If you are trying to improve yourself or wanting to learn, but have limited time, this may be the perfect service for you.