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Blinkist vs Shortform: Your Best Book Summary App on the Go

Blinkist or Shortform: Which book summary app offers the best value for your money? Let's take a look at the key features, pricing, and value and find the best book summary app for your needs!
by Chris Allmer | Jul 26 2023

Today we dig into the realm of book summary apps and spotlight the competition between two prominent players: Blinkist and Shortform. If you’re someone juggling with time but thirsting for knowledge, book summary apps can be your lifeline. These apps distill the gist of lengthy books into bite-sized summaries, giving you key takeaways without the need to invest long hours.

Let’s now go on a little literal journey and take a look at their key features, the content, the value, and the pricing to find the best book summary app for your needs!

Blinkist or Shortform: Book Summaries for Everyone

Blinkist and Shortform, as key players in the book summary app market, share several similarities despite having their own unique spins. Both platforms primarily focus on providing engaging, and quality summaries of non-fiction books. They draw out the most valuable insights and key takeaways, presenting them in a way that readers can easily digest and understand without spending hours reading an entire book.

Moreover, they both feature audio versions of their summaries. This offering is excellent for busy peeps like us who prefer to listen to summaries while commuting, working out, or multitasking. Additionally, both Blinkist and Shortform give prospective users the opportunity to explore their platforms via free trial periods. This feature can help users evaluate whether the platform’s content and approach match their learning style and preferences.

What Are the Main Features of Blinkist and Shortform?

Blinkist Shortform
Content Library 6,500+ pieces of content
Including books (fiction and non-fiction), Guides, collections, and Shortcasts
1,000+ non-fiction books
Subscription Mode Basic and Premium Basic and Premium
Trial Free 7-day trial Free 5-day trial
Free Plan One free daily pick and access to selected collections One free summary a day and 10 daily insight
Premium Subscription
  • Unlimited access to the entire library
  • Exclusive expert guides, collections, and Shortcasts
  • Download titles for offline access
  • Send reads to Kindle
  • 2 for 1, share premium account for free
  • Unlimited access to 1,000+ book guides
  • Download titles for offline access
  • Printable PDF downloads
  • Share key points with friends
Unique Features
  • Blinkist Spaces:  share, recommend and discuss titles with anyone
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Guides with activities and infographics
  • Ability to highlight and save key insights
  • Book guides are 20-45 minutes long
  • One-page book summaries
  • Share highlights on Notion
  • IOS and Android mobile devices
  • Desktop
  • Kindle integration
  • Offline access (premium users)
  • IOS and Android mobile devices
  • Desktop
  • The annual plan costs $99.99 per year
  • The monthly plan is $15.99
  • The annual plan costs $197.00 per year
  • The monthly plan is $24.00
Refund Policy 14-day money-back guarantee N/A
  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • App Store 4.8 (108.8K reviews).
  • Google Play 4.5 (100K reviews)
  • App Store 4.5 (516K reviews).
  • Google Play 4 (600K reviews)


The Content Selection: Blinkist vs Shortform

In the realm of content selection, Blinkist takes the upper hand with a staggering collection of over 6,500 titles. Its extensive library encompasses a wide range of non-fiction genres, allowing users to delve into topics that spark their curiosity. Apart from book summaries, Blinkist also offers Shortcasts, bite-sized audio episodes summarizing key insights from books.

On the other hand, Shortform holds a decent but smaller content library, housing more than 1,500 book summaries, articles, and topic guides.

Blinkist vs Shortform, What About the Quality?

Both Blinkist and Shortform maintain a high standard of content quality. Blinkist prides itself on delivering concise, 15-minute summaries, or ‘Blinks,’ boiling down the most important points into digestible nuggets of wisdom. These summaries are highly informative and well-structured, making them perfect for quick reads.

With years of experience (11, to be precise) and a team of expert curators, Blinkist offers book summaries of superior quality. Additionally, Blinkist pays special attention to the narrators of their audio versions, ensuring that they are talented and engaging speakers who bring the content to life.

In contrast, Shortform relies on Artificial Intelligence to create their audios, which lacks the human touch that Blinkist provides.

Furthermore, Shortform opts for a more comprehensive approach. It offers detailed guides with a length of up to 45 minutes, replete with exercises and references, to facilitate a deeper understanding of the subject. The platform’s approach, although more time-consuming, provides actionable insights that readers can apply in their day-to-day lives.

Interface Use: Blinkist vs Shortform

Both Blinkist and Shortform offer intuitive interfaces that are easy to navigate. Blinkist’s design is clean and straightforward, with a focus on simplicity. It allows users to easily browse through categories, save titles for later, and switch between text and audio versions seamlessly.

The Blinkist app touts an intuitive design, with a home bar and only three tabs to navigate: Discover, Library, and You. Its library tab is particularly remarkable; it includes the possibility to create collections and organize their favorite titles.

Shortform’s interface, while also user-friendly, packs also many features. The platform does have occasional performance issues, but these are consistently addressed by the developers to ensure a smooth user experience.

What Are the Key Features of Blinkist and Shortform?

Blinkist’s Unique Features

In addition to their signature book summaries or ‘Blinks’, Blinkist has introduced several unique features to enhance the learning experience of their users. Take a little peek here.

Blinkist Spaces

This feature allows Premium users to create group spaces within the app to add, share, and recommend titles from the library. It’s akin to having a virtual book club where friends, family, or colleagues can exchange recommendations.

Blinkist Guides

Another addition to the platform is the Blinkist Guides. These are comprehensive learning resources that provide practical insights and actionable tips on specific topics. Each Guide is led by experts and thought leaders in their respective fields, and contains a combination of original audio content, Blinks, and Shortcasts.

They also provide additional resources such as exercises, infographics, or quizzes to help users apply and retain what they’ve learned. Users can choose to listen to a Guide from the beginning or scroll through the chapters to start where they prefer. The Guide offers a comprehensive and engaging way to learn about various topics, focusing on practical application and knowledge retention.

Shortform’s Unique Features


You can select text and then highlight it, add a note to it, or share it. These highlights and notes are saved in your profile, which you can revisit later. Furthermore, there is a possibility to synchronize your highlights with Readwise and Notion.

One-page summaries

Each book summary begins with a one-page summary, followed by the full book guide with chapters and exercises broken into several parts. You can also download the summaries in PDF format.

Pricing: Blinkist vs Shortform

Both applications possess similar pricing structures, with both free and paid versions available. The free plan gives you access to one book per day, and both apps offer a 7-day free trial for unlimited content access. 

Blinkist‘s annual plan costs $99.99 per year, while the monthly plan is $15.99. The yearly plan offers substantial savings compared to the monthly program. 

In contrast, Shortform’s subscription pricing sits on the higher end, charging about $16/month when paid annually. The monthly plan is $24. While the price is steep, the platform tries to justify the cost by offering an in-depth, lengthy approach to summaries. Users can test the platform with a 5-day free trial.

Blinkist Premium also grants unlimited access to the entire library, exclusive guides, collections, and shortcasts. Users can also download titles for offline access and send reads to Kindle. 

Moreover, Blinkist lets subscribers invite one person to share their Premium plan at no extra cost. Sharing is caring! With a 2-for-1 deal and a large collection of titles, it’s clear that Blinkist is a cheaper way to get high-quality book summaries than Shortform.

Blinkist vs Shortform: Now it’s Time to Make a Decision

If you’re looking for a broader range of topics and extra features, Blinkist is the perfect match. Blinkist has a lot of different things to talk about, like shortcasts and guides, and you can share a Premium plan with someone else. This makes it a good choice for many people. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and versatile book summary experience, Blinkist is the one for you.

But why would you listen to me, right? As we know, actions are always more powerful than words. Go and click on that little button and get your free 7-day trial. You are the captain of your journey to knowledge, go and set sail!

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