If you're a leader you need to be a reader. Normally when I read a book I have a goal of getting 2-3 takeaway points for me to consider it to be a helpful book. But to get to those 2-3 points, I have to read 200+ pages sometimes. There's plenty out there that are worth the investment and labor to read through diligently, but sometimes the best books can be summarized much shorter with greater retainability.
I came across an app that helps with that - Blinkist. It does have a subscription fee (about $80 for a year) but with it comes a digital library of thousands of books, from fiction to leadership to biography. They're designed to be read in "blinks" which are roughly 2-3 minute summaries. Along with the reading feature is a text-to-talk feature where it will read as an audiobook.
-Tons of content: You literally have thousands of books at your disposal, which means it'll be long before you run out of titles to read.
-Quick synopsis: Each blink gets to the point, drawing from the author's work with much of the language retained. At the end of the book there's a wrap up where you get the main idea back again.
-Mobile delivery: You mostly use your smartphone to access the library on Blinkist, though there is a desktop feature. Your library goes with you, and you can redeem some time to catch up on your reading.
-Cost: $80 may seem like a lot, but when you figure the average print book is $20 and average Kindle is $10, this is a bargain to have that much access
-Lack of specific ministry content: The Leadership section in Blinkist is incredible, and you'll find no shortage of application to ministry. But if you're looking for any kind of church-specific titles, you'll be disappointed.
-Markups: One of the perks of the traditional way of reading is the ability to do markups, to write margin notes, highlight key passages, and interact with the text.
If you're looking for a way to get exposed to great ideas and great books, to redeem your commute, or if you have the attention span of a squirrel in a coffee shop, Blinkist can be a great tool in your learning toolbox. It's certainly worth the annual membership to engage with their incredible library of good books.
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.