Book summary apps are services that aim to summaries books, and other informative media, into short 5-20 minute reads. These apps usually also allow you to listen to the book summaries as audiobooks. This allows you to multitask whilst taking in information. These features are ideal for those leading busy lives, or those who simply don’t wish to dedicate a large amount of time browsing books and/or reading.
Best Book Summary Apps
There are quite a few book summary apps available nowadays, but the category is still fairly niche. Therefore, there still aren’t that many apps to choose from.
Nonetheless, there are enough apps to make you wonder which ones are the best for book summaries.
We’ll go over four of the best book summary apps in this article; keeping in mind price, UI, and features.
#4 – Headway
Price: £79.99 per year (with a 7-day free trial).
Headway can be used for free, but there is a pro version of the app you can pay for. The pro version is a subscription plan, and there’s only one plan available.
Headway is an app, which summarises non-fiction books into 15-minute (or less) reads. It’s great for efficient reading, or determining whether a book should be read. The app is allows users to easily recall the main contents of a book.
Nonetheless, the app can be used as a free app. Headway has few capabilities as a free app. Your access to the library of books is restricted to one free book a day. You cannot access any other books, and the free book is given to you randomly by the app. This means you have no choice or freedom in what the free book will be. This also means that your reading progress will be greatly hindered, as you’ll only be able to read one book per day. This makes the app redundant as a book summary service, which are supposed to increase the number of books you read
Headway lets users to listen to audio versions of their books, as well as read them. You can even read and listen to books simultaneously. This allows users to multitask whilst using Headway. There’s also a feature for saving insights or sections of a book by highlighting them. This makes recalling certain content easy to do.
The app also provides reading challenges, which show a series of books you must read within a certain amount of time. This can make reading more fun or stimulating for users.
Overall, Headway is a good app for getting quick book summaries. It’s on the pricier side so you should think carefully before purchasing it. Luckily, they offer one free book a day, so you can explore some of the app’s features before deciding to purchase the pro version. You can read our full Headway review here.
#3 – Blinkist
Price: £59.99 per year (with a 7-day free trial).
Blinkist is free to download and use, but much like Headway, it has a pro version. The pro version is a subscription service, at a lower price than Headway. Blinkist also is better used as a subscription service, as it also locks most books for free users. The app offers one free book a day for free users, which greatly restricts the amount of reading you can do. Therefore, the app isn’t worth it unless you pay the subscription.
Blinkist is known for offering books in field such as entrepreneurship, science, and self-improvement. The app has over 2500 books to choose from, which users can both listen and read to. Much like Headway, Blinkist aims to keep their summaries to under 15-minutes.
You can highlight lines in books to save them, and bookmark books as a reminder to read them. You could also bookmark them to save them in your library.
Blinkist has quite a neat UI, with a minimalistic reader for easy reading. You can also read and listen to books simultaneously. There’s an audio button in the reader’s UI, which can be used to play the audio version of a book. Pressing the button doesn’t prompt the audio player to pop-up. This is very convenient, as it keeps the reading experience non-disruptive; as well as making it so that users can access a book’s audio without exiting the reader.
Blinkist also allows you to change the colour of the page to either black or white, and also lets you alter the text size using a slider. This allows users to customise the reading interface to their liking.
Overall, Blinkist is a good app for books summaries, and is on the cheaper side. Blinkist shares a lot of similarities with Headway, except at a lower price. So, if you like Headway but find it too pricey, give Blinkist a try.
#2 – getAbstract
Price: £27.00 per month, or £280.00 per year (with a 3-day free trial).
getAbstract is one of the most expensive book summary apps, and also one of the more expensive subscription services in general. Opening the app for the first time will enter you into a 3-day free trial, which is helpful as you don’t have to pay or commit to a subscription in order to test the app out fully.
Despite its high subscription price, getAbstract also has the largest amount of books summaries available; with over 22,000 summaries in their library. The app aims to keep their summaries to 10-minutes or less, which is one of the shorter reading times (especially in comparison to Headway and Blinkist).
getAbstract also allows you to both read and listen to books, even simultaneously. You can also read offline, and create playlists of your favourite audiobooks.
You can bookmark books, download them, favourite them, or share them.
You can also customise the reader by altering the page colour; from white, sepia, and black. There’s also an option for changing the brightness of the reader, as well as a slider for changing the text size. The app offers more customisation options than other book summary apps.
Overall, the app has a very large collection of book summaries. You’ll never have to worry about running out of material to read. However, it is very expensive, but it does offer a free trial. Use the free trial to determine whether the app is worth purchasing.
#1 – Uptime
Price: £39.99 for first year, then £59.99 per year; or £14.99 per month (with a 3-day free trial).
Uptime activates a 3-day free trial when you first open the app, which allows users to fully test the app out before having the make a purchase. The app offers a 75% discount for users who purchase the premium version within a certain amount of time. The discount lasts for a year, or one subscription payment.
Uptime is free to download, but not free to use. After the free trial is over, you’ll have to pay in order to continue using it. This is not ideal, but at least you can fully use the app before having to make a monetary commitment.
The app offers thousands of book summaries, with 100s of summaries being added monthly. This means that library is ever-growing, which is good for those who worry about running out of books summaries to read.
Uptime, in addition to offering books and audiobooks, also offers summaries for documentaries and courses. This makes the app quite flexible in terms of usage.
Just like most book summary apps, Uptime also allows you to both read and listen to books. You can also do both of those things simultaneously.
The reader is separated into the overview, the favourite quote, the introduction, and the insights. The summaries are quite thorough, and segmented to make for an easy reading experience.
Additionally, Uptime has a few unique features in comparison to the average book summary app. One such feature is the ability to ‘spark’ sections of a books, which allows users to add them to a board for later use. You can create and name boards, and organise your collection of quotes.
Uptime also has a reminder feature, which allows you to set alarms for when you should next read. This ensures that you don’t lose your reading streak.
Overall, Uptime is a great book summary app, and is on the cheaper side. It has features to help you monitor your reading progress, and allows you to collate and organise different book quotes. The app also gives you a free trial, so use that time to fully explore the app before purchasing the premium version. You can even try to take advantage of the discounted subscription price.
In conclusion, book summary apps tend to share a few basic features. They usually offer summaries under 15 minutes long, allow you to listen to books as well as read them, and allow you to save quotes.
Unfortunately, most book summary apps cost money to use properly, which makes it difficult to commit to one app. Luckily, a few book summary apps offer free trials that don’t require making a subscription; whilst others are free to use.
However, the apps that are free to use usually greatly limit access to books, so it’s better to pay for the pro version.