They’re much shorter and cover the basic parts of a book, so you can still learn something new.
Here is a list of the best summary websites and apps.
Headway is a mobile app that offers concise summaries of popular non-fiction and self-improvement books, targeting busy individuals interested in personal and professional growth.
The app condenses long books into roughly ten-page summaries that can be read or listened to, making learning efficient and accessible.
It boasts a comprehensive library of over 1,500 book summaries, catering to a wide user base of over 18 million people.
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, take a look at the Blinkist vs Headway App page.
Sumizeit gives you the key ideas from important non-fiction books in short summaries that take only 10-15 minutes to read or listen to.
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.
Sumizeit covers a variety of subjects like business, leadership, and technology, so you’ll always have something interesting to talk about.
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.
However, you can subscribe to get access to its full 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 it can even recommend titles to help you get started.
Another platform that offers professional book summaries is getAbstract.
This program is especially useful for 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 you can access thousands of books.
The tool is easy to use, but it gets expensive if you want unlimited access.
With Readingraphics, you can access multiple forms of book summaries.
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 you can 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 of the 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 own life or at work.
Instaread provides 15-minute audio summaries as well as text summaries of books.
You can access your summaries on your desktop, mobile device, or tablet.
The platform offers summaries of thousands of books about business, politics, and more.
When you sign up, you’ll get a free seven-day trial to test out all of the features. After the trial ends, you’ll have to pay $8.99 per month to continue with a premium membership.
If you like Blinkist but want something different, this is a good alternative. It’s also nice because it even has summaries of certain fiction books, which Blinkist doesn’t offer.
If you want book summaries to help you with your business, try Readitfor.me. You can get access to all of their summaries for a monthly or annual fee.
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 more than a few years, the one-time cost will eventually even out.
Most of the summaries are 12 minutes or less, so they’re perfect for busy people.
They don’t have the largest library, but it’s a good place to start.
The best book summary website for self-improvement is Optimize.me, now known as 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. If you want to check out all of the features, you can start with a free trial.
While it’s not specific to book summaries, it’s an excellent platform to learn. You can sign up using your computer or mobile device, so you can learn anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Maybe you have a bit of extra time but not enough to listen to a full book. Bookey offers longer book summaries compared to the competition.
The summaries are 30 minutes each, so you can listen to them in the time it would take to watch a short TV show.
You’ll also get access to text summaries and mind maps to help better understand a book.
They release new titles every week, so you’ll always have something to read. Plus, you can download your summaries to access them on the go.
This platform has summaries for everything from fiction books to business books to memoirs.
That means there’s something for almost everyone.
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 enjoy reading a full book, you can check out the summary first.
The summary can give you an idea of what the book is about.
You may learn more than you could by reading the summary on the back cover.
After you read or listen to a summary, you can decide if you want to read the entire book.
In some cases, you may find that you got everything you needed out of the summary.
However, maybe you want to dive deeper into a specific topic.
That’s a good sign you should find the full book to read or listen to.
Revisit Old Books
Perhaps you’ve already read a book but want to go back to it.
Instead of reading the entire thing again, you can check out a book summary.
That will allow you to revisit some of the most important concepts and lessons from the book.
You can remind yourself of those crucial points, and you can implement them in your life or at work.
This can be especially helpful if you don’t own a copy of the book in question. Instead of buying a new copy, you can subscribe to a service to get access to thousands of summaries.
Then, you can revisit multiple books that you’ve read before.
Treat Them Like Articles
You can also read summaries on their own 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.
Some people enjoy reading, but they’re busy with other tasks. You can listen on your own time, and you can listen during your commute if you have no time. Depending on the platform, the summaries may be as short as 10 minutes.
You don’t have to give up reading just because you have a lot going on. Use a book summary website to fulfill your desire to read new books.
The nice thing is you can use the service for as long as you need. It doesn’t matter if you’ll be busy for a few months or for multiple years.
You don’t need to worry about setting aside time to read an entire book.
Learn More Efficiently
Depending on the book you want to read, a summary can help you learn more quickly.
Some full books have a lot of excess information that you don’t really need. They include those details to help fill the pages.
If you find that a lot of books are longer than they need to be, look at summaries.
A good summary will cover all of the essential points. You may be able to learn about a new concept just from the summary.
Even if there are some gaps, you can look for summaries of similar books.
You could even buy the entire book and use the summary you already listened to to help find the right chapters to read.
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.
As long as you don’t have a specific book in mind, you can follow these creators to see what books they cover in the future.