Hi, I’m Therese, a business development manager living in Berlin, Germany. Last month, I managed to read over 100 nonfiction titles in psychology, politics, and leadership. I know it sounds crazy, but I really did. Here’s how.
It started with a bet. A colleague challenged me to read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story Of Success in two hours. As determined as I was, I just couldn’t meet the deadline. I got through the first few chapters relatively quickly but found it impossible to finish the book in the designated 2 hours. So, I lost the bet, but it gave me an idea! I needed to find a better way to consume nonfiction books.
I found several websites, blogs and apps that transform books into ‘bite-sized’ content. But in the end, I opted for the Blinkist app. I want to read more nonfiction books—I find it really useful to read the key takeaways from lots of books to help me get a feeling for what’s an absolute must for my to-read list! Blinkist is one of the first apps that transform books into ‘bite-sized’ content.
As one of the first services to turn nonfiction books into quick reads, it has over 3,000 bestselling titles in its library. (including Outliers: The Story of Success — aka, the book that defeated me!).
To be honest, I was skeptical at first, but I learned some things that put my mind at ease. For example, I learned that in order to produce quality insights from every book, they have over 100 literary experts hard at work. I also loved that the app has an audio function which allows me to listen to great ideas throughout the day.
So, with this cool new sidekick, I set a fresh goal for myself — I’m very competitive like that!— to read the key insights from 100 books in just one month. So, how did I do? I did it! I read 102 titles to be exact. It might sound like a lot, but the Blinkist packs take only 10-15 minutes to read. I read roughly 3 titles a day, mostly during commutes.
And I learned so many cool new things. Here are some insights that I found the most interesting:
I learned that if I go out with a group of friends for dinner, I should order my meal first. This will make me happier with my choice. Sounds crazy, but it’s true! (Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely).
I haven’t tried this one yet, but supposedly it’s better for my health to put butter in my coffee instead of milk. (Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey).
I learned that before the onset of agriculture, women used to have more sexual freedom than men. (Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha).
I can never look at trees the same way again. Apparently, they have personalities and are able to learn. This is why every tree sheds their leaves differently! (The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben).
And I found a new favorite author! While I really enjoyed Dale Carnegie’s books — they’re all self-help classics — and Richard Dawkins’ books about the human race are also very interesting, my new favorite author is definitely Dan Ariely.
His book Predictably Irrational on human behavior has given me incredible insights that really help me in my job. Now, I want you to take on the challenge! Yes, you heard me! I used to burn a lot of time on social media and Netflix. My job is exhausting, so by the time I leave work, my brain is pretty much useless. Reading a book on the Blinkist app however, is like a snack for my brain.
I’m able to get the main learnings from a 400-page book in minutes. I’m happy that I’m doing something productive with my time. Everyday, I wake up wiser than the day before. If you want to get wiser, too, then I challenge you to try and beat my 102-title record! Check out the Blinkist app and start your reading adventure!