10 Best Book Summary Websites and Apps

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If you enjoy reading, you may have a massive list of books ready and waiting. But you might not have much time to dig into the titles. Try out some of the book summary platforms instead.

book summary websites

They’re much shorter and cover the essential parts of a book, so you can still learn something new.

The #1 Book summary app is Headway. They have an incredible lifetime deal if you use this special link ($59 One-time payment).

10 Top Book Summary Websites (and Apps)

Here is a list of the best summary websites and apps.

1. Headway

Name Books Features Review
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Headway is a mobile app that offers short summaries of popular non-fiction and self-improvement books. It’s for busy people who want to grow personally and professionally.

The app turns long books into ten-page summaries that can be read or listened to. This makes learning easier and more accessible.

It boasts a comprehensive library of over 1,500 book summaries, catering to a broad user base of over 18 million people.

headway app

Headway provides personalized learning paths and features trusted content from reputable bestseller lists.

It also includes a Spaced Repetition feature, turning key insights into flashcards for easier recall.

For more info, review the Blinkist vs Headway App page or the Headway App Review.

2. Shortfrom

Shortform was designed with you in mind. It features an easy-to-navigate app with more than 1000 book summaries.

shortform website

Here’s why we love it:

  • Dive Deep: Unlike others, Shortform gives you more than just the basics. Get to the heart of books with detailed summaries and cool insights.
  • Learn More: It’s not just reading; it’s learning. With quizzes and questions, you’ll remember and understand better.
  • For Everyone: Whether you love stories or facts, there’s something for you. Tons of books on all topics!
  • Try It First: Not sure yet? Start with a free trial. Love it, then jump into everything with a subscription.
  • Easy-Peasy: The app and website are super simple to use. Finding and reading summaries is a breeze.
  • Keep Growing: Unlimited access to all summaries as long as you’re subscribed.

It’s all about making your learning journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible, ensuring you get the most out of every summary.

All thinkimpact users get 20% off, if you sign up using this special link.

3. Blinkist

Blinkist is one of the best apps to access book summaries. You can sign up for free and access one new summary per day, and Blinkist will choose the summary for you.

blinkist

However, you can subscribe to access its entire library of thousands of titles.

Every summary is 15 minutes long, so they’re easy to digest. They’re the perfect length for a short commute, so you can listen to one on the way to work.

Unfortunately, you’ll lose access to your summaries after you cancel your subscription.

Still, it’s an affordable service, so it’s great if you don’t have much time.

The app and website are easy to use, and you can even recommend titles to help you get started.

4. Sumizeit

Sumizeit gives you the key ideas from essential non-fiction books in short summaries that take only 10-15 minutes to read or listen to.

Sumizeit

The language is easy to understand so you won’t get lost in complicated words or concepts.

They now have 1000+ book summaries.

You can access these summaries in different ways—through text, audio, or video.

This way, you can keep learning and growing personally without spending hours reading.
Summarize covers different topics such as business, leadership, and technology. This means you’ll always have something interesting to talk about.

5. getAbstract

Another platform that offers professional book summaries is getAbstract.

getAbstract

This program benefits teams if you want your employees to learn more. You can set up a learning platform just for your organization.

getAbstract lets you see what everyone is up to regarding the app.

You can even set aside specific titles from the library that you want people to read or listen to. That makes it an excellent training tool for new and current employees.

However, you can also use it individually and access thousands of books.

The tool is easy to use but gets expensive if you want unlimited access.

6. Readingraphics

With Readingraphics, you can access multiple forms of book summaries.

Readingraphics

You can view a one-page infographic or read through a PDF. If you prefer to listen, each summary is about 20 minutes long.

The platform lets you buy single summaries or subscribe for unlimited access.

Before you sign up, you can get a couple of free sample summaries to see if you like their style.

Some categories of summaries they have include business, marketing, personal development, and health and wellness.

That means you can find summaries to help you grow in your life or at work.

7. Instaread

Instaread provides 15-minute audio summaries as well as text summaries of books.

Instaread

You can access your summaries on your desktop, mobile device, or tablet.

The platform summarizes thousands of books about business, politics, and more.

When you sign up, you’ll get a free seven-day trial to test all the features. After the trial ends, you’ll have to pay $8.99 monthly to continue with a premium membership.

This is a good alternative if you like Blinkist but want something different. It’s also lovely because it even has summaries of certain fiction books, which Blinkist doesn’t offer.

8. Readitfor. me

If you want book summaries to help your business, try Readitfor. Me. You can access all of their summaries for a monthly or annual fee.

Readitfor.me

The monthly rate is $29, while the annual cost is $299.

After using it for a while, you can switch to the lifetime plan. That comes with a one-time purchase of $999.

If you assume you’ll use the tool for over a few years, the one-time cost will eventually even.

Most summaries are 12 minutes or less, which is perfect for busy people.

They don’t have the most extensive library, but it’s an excellent place to start.

9. Optimize. me/Heroic

The best book summary website for self-improvement is Optimize. Me, now known as Heroic.

heroic

You can sign up for free to start learning new things about yourself. The premium plan costs $14.99 per month.

There are philosopher notes, classes, and other resources available. You can start with a free trial if you want to check out all the features.

While it’s not specific to book summaries, it’s an excellent learning platform. You can sign up using your computer or mobile device, so you can learn anywhere if you have an internet connection.

10. Bookey

Maybe you have some extra time but not enough to listen to an entire book. Bookey offers more extended book summaries than the competition.

bookey

The summaries are 30 minutes each, so you can listen to them when it takes to watch a short TV show.

You’ll also get access to text summaries and mind maps to help you better understand a book.

They release new titles weekly, so you’ll always have something to read. Plus, you can download your summaries to access them on the go.

This platform has summaries from fiction books to business books to memoirs.

That means there’s something for almost everyone.

What Are Websites That Offer Books Summaries?

Summary websites are online platforms that give short and valuable summaries of different content.

These summaries can cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • books
  • articles
  • academic
  • papers
  • news stories and more.

These websites aim to make it easier for users to understand important information quickly.

Summary websites usually find the original text’s main ideas, arguments, or themes. We typically achieve this by using both computer programs and human editors.

Summaries of books are helpful for people who want to understand a lot of information quickly. This includes students, researchers, professionals, and people who learn for fun.

Why I Like Websites that Summarize Books

Book summary sites, often perceived as a shortcut, serve many beneficial purposes. Some people call them spoiler websites.

They are not about cheating the literary experience but enhancing it in various ways.

I think these sites benefit those who wish to get the essence of a book before committing to the full read. In my experience, these act as a teaser that can inspire further reading.

For those who have already journeyed through a book, these summaries offer a quick way to refresh their memory.

Why Read Book Summaries

No matter which book summary websites and apps you choose, you may wonder if book summaries are worth reading. It can seem like it’s not the same as reading an entire book, and that’s correct.

However, there are a few advantages of consuming book summaries.

Choose Books to Read

If you like reading books, try reading the summary first to understand the story.

It might tell you more than the back cover. After checking the summary, you can decide to read the whole book.

Sometimes, the summary is enough, but if you’re interested in more details, go for the entire book.

Revisit Old Books

Try reading a summary if you’ve read a book and want to recall its key points.

This is useful for revisiting and applying essential concepts in life or work.

If you don’t own the book, subscribing to a summary service lets you quickly access many summaries and review multiple books.

Treat Them Like Articles

You can also read summaries independently without intending to read the entire book. Treat the summaries like articles or podcasts and listen to one or two per day.

A lot of summaries are short and easy to consume. Some services offer text versions for when you want to read like you would a news article.

However, you may also be able to listen to the summary like a podcast. Instead of scouring the news for articles to read, go to your book summary app.

That way, you’ll always have something new to read or listen to during your day.

Save Time

Busy people who love reading can use book summary websites to keep up with new books.

These summaries are often as short as 10 minutes and can be listened to during commutes or spare moments.

This service is flexible, proper for months or years, and eliminates the need to read entire books.

Learn More Efficiently

A book summary can speed up your learning by cutting out unnecessary details in whole books.

If you often find books longer than needed, consider using summaries.

They capture all the key points, allowing you to grasp new concepts quickly.

For any missing information, check summaries of similar books.

You can also buy the whole book and use the summary as a guide to focus on relevant chapters.

Individuals Who Offer Free Book Summaries

Some of the best book summaries come from individual bloggers. Be sure to check out the following websites if you want some free summaries:

  • Alex J. Hughes
  • Derek Sivers
  • James Clear
  • Nat Eliason
  • Paul Minors

Now, these bloggers don’t have as many summaries as the platforms. However, you don’t have to pay to access the content.

If you don’t have a specific book in mind, you can follow these creators to see what books they cover in the future.

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