Reading books has been a favorite pastime among many people. Or maybe this is their leisure activity during the times when they were still kids and teenagers -- when they have all the time in the world. Reading a whole book takes time, so many of those whose passion is reading are looking for ways how they can still enjoy this favorite activity of theirs even if they do not have the time, perhaps because of work-related commitments. This is where websites that provide summaries of books come into the scene.
By reading free book summaries, people are still able to enjoy the books they want to read, but without pressuring them if they have other commitments. Are you looking for websites where to find these? Or perhaps you are open to investing a few bucks a month to gain access to high-level study guides and synopses?
Well, we are telling you right now that you are on the right page, because, we are going to take a look at some of today's best book summary platforms.
What Are Book Summary Sites?
Book summary websites provide (obviously) summaries of various types of publications. These may include non-fiction titles, fiction titles, articles, podcasts, speeches, popular theories, papers and dissertations, and combinations of these.
What are the best websites of this kind?
Our Top Pick: StoryShots
StoryShots is our top pick, and being such, it is a great choice. StoryShots is a learning app with free book summaries in text, audio, and animated formats. It has features that other websites of this kind do not have.
Using StoryShots, you can get quick summaries of bestselling nonfiction books in various languages and media formats. With it, you can listen while you read, share notes and highlights, and get access to full-length eBooks and audiobooks.
Things You Can Do With StoryShots
Read At Your Own Pace
Use StoryShots' powerful reader to read at your own pace and convenience. Highlight, read offline, take notes, share image quotes, read and listen simultaneously, and so much more to elevate your learning. Also perfect for university students.
Listen To Audiobooks
Do you prefer listening to podcasts and audiobooks on the go, while working out, or while doing your household chores? Well, StoryShots makes these things possible.
Watch An Animation
It has been said that 65 percent of individuals are visual learners. So, using StoryShots, you can watch animations of your favorite titles -- something that other websites do not offer.
However, StoryShots is not free, but the subscription rates are very affordable. They range from $29.99 to $99.99.
Other Best Book Summary Websites You Can Check Out (Aside From Sparknotes)
The rest of the best book summary sites are up next.
1. Book Summary Club
A Sweden-based guy named Erik is the man behind Book Summary Club, an English-language summary site for nonfiction books.
He summarizes three big points from the book, provides his opinion, and then offers ideas for practical implementation.
As of the time of our research, Book Summary Club has 140 books in its collection, but more titles are added intermittently. Erik also keeps a mailing list for people who wish to get updated when a new summary releases.
Blinkist is touted as one of the most popular summary websites and apps on the market today. As of our research, it is also very affordable for those who want to access high-quality summaries.
Blinkist employs real people who read the original books and come up with summaries, unlike other websites that use artificial intelligence.
Plus, each summary only takes between 10 to 25 minutes to absorb, and most of the titles here have audio versions aside from their text versions, so you can choose to read or listen.
However, Blinkist currently only summarizes non-fiction titles.
3. Heroic by Optimize
Heroic by Optimize, that has a branding which promises to help people become "the best version" of themselves "in just three minutes a day," is amazing. You know why? It is more than a book summary site.
This platform currently features 600 book summaries, and it adds to this collection monthly. Each title has text, audio, and video summaries.
In addition, Heroic by Optimize also offers free classes and micro lessons on everything from meditation to self-development and cookery, plus so much more.
4. Nat Eliason
Nat Eliason is a writer who shares his book notes. Nat summarizes and comments on fiction, nonfiction, articles, and speeches. Then, he gives each a rating from one to 10.
From what users get from his site, he is a very opinionated person. He shares his thoughts freely.
5. Four Minute Books
Founded by a person named Niklas Goke, Four Minute Books focuses on nonfiction books (just like the other sites on this list).
But like Erik from Book Summary Club, Niklas summarizes three big lessons from the title, provides his option, and suggests who the book is most suitable for.
He often summarizes summaries. For instance, he may read a Blinkist summary and write a synopsis of this Blinkist summary. If you are comfortable with that, you can choose this website. His aim is to distill books down to just four minutes.
Nevertheless, it has a wide collection of books. As of the time of our research, Four Minute Books has over a thousand books, and they add more each month.
Like the others on this book summary website list, 12min.com is also a micro book library. As its name implies, its summaries take around 12 minutes to digest and absorb.
However, what distinguishes 12min.com from other sites is that it is geared toward mobile use. So, especially for people always on the go, this is the site for you.
Sounds like “smize it”? Well, Sumizeit has a tagline that wants its readers "become smarter in just 10 minutes." It runs a beautiful, user-friendly website with several helpful bells and whistles, not to mention that it has an extensive library, and it adds more titles weekly.
Its summaries take approximately 10 minutes to absorb, and you can have them either through audio, text, or video.
The most popular collections on this platform include relationships, science, philosophy, parenting, and self-development -- practically the most popular genres in non-fiction.
Bearing the tagline, "Get Smarter in Minutes," Instaread is a classic book summary website with text and audio summaries.
However, unlike the others on this list, it covers fiction, aside from non-fiction titles, and they have a line of originals. Each summary at Instaread takes around 15 minutes to read or listen to.
Another thing well-loved about Instaread is that they hire graphic designers to make original paintings of the covers. Interesting, right?
ReadinGraphics, as the name implies, takes a slightly distinctive approach compared with the other book synopsis sites by providing one-page infographic summaries.
Each title has a 10- to 15-page text summary and 20-minute audio.
ReadinGraphics has hundreds of titles and adds more each month.
10. Animated Book Summaries
Meanwhile, Animated Book Summaries is a YouTobe-based summary site that lets its users sit back and watch videos about various titles. No reading is required.
The channel's tagline is "summaries, examples, definition and meaning in a nutshell," and if you need finance-related materials and personal development tomes such as Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance," they have them.
11. Thug Notes (By Wisecrack)
Anchored on Wisecrack's support, Greg Edwards and Jared Bauer are the minds behind "Thug Notes: A Streetsmart Guide to Classic Literature."
This video book summary platform tackles more than 100 classic literature and pop fiction titles, such as "King Lear," "Things Fall Apart," "Fifty Shades of Grey," and "To Kill a Mockingbird."
In developing the project, the goal of its team is to "take the ivory tower out of literature."
Greg once explained the team's approach, saying, "The gift of literature is universal in meaning and should be made accessible to everyone on every plane. So 'Thug Notes' is my way of... showing that even high-brow academic concepts can be communicated in a clear and open fashion."
However, Thug Notes occasionally uses saucy language, so if we are to give it a rating, it would be PG-13.
Looking instead to read the book for you? ReadItFor.Me75 is the way to go. Known as the "Cliff Notes for Business Books," most of its library consists of leadership development summaries.
It also carries the distinction of being the "number one book summary service for executives and entrepreneurs," so you will surely love your ReadItFor.Me75 subscription.
The last on this list is GetAbstract. It has been in the book summary industry for over two decades now. Interestingly, it is used by worldwide corporations like Visa, Microsoft, and Unilever. The platform boasts more than 25,000 summaries.
This website provides synopses for books, speeches, podcasts, and so much more. Conveniently, readers can read via its app or send the titles directly to their Kindle. Most of its summaries can be digested in around 15 minutes, and there are tons of curated categories from which to choose.
Why Would You Use Sites that Summarize Books?
People may have this in mind: Book summary sites are not like the experience when reading the book in full.
Sure, reading an entire tom and contemplating it in detail are never out of the picture when it comes to the experience, but it is also real that the time of people to read every book they want to read is not enough.
This is where book summary websites come to the rescue. There are several ways these websites are used.
To Sample New Titles
Most folks use these sites to wrap their head around the gist of a book title. If the summary is engaging, many of them will opt to also read the entire book. So, somedo not depend completely on them, but use summaries as samples.
To Save Time
Life is always hectic. Time is precious. Being able to absorb a book's major theme and concept in roughly 10 to 20 minutes is a huge blessing if your schedule is jam-packed. It does not let go of you being a wide reader.
To Brush Up
Book summary websites are present when you wish to brush up on a book you have already read in the past.
To Develop A Habit
If you are trying to develop a reading habit, especially if you are not into reading books in the first place, starting with summary sites is a smart way to go. This is since the sense of accomplishment you will enjoy from "finishing a book" will motivate you to stick with your reading routine. Who knows? You can even start reading books in full.
To Research Topics
Are you looking to quickly research a topic? If so, book summary websites are an excellent way to do this.
Now That You've Learned The Best Free And Paid Websites For Book Summaries, Let's Answer Some Quora Questions
Aside from learning about websites where you can find a summary of the book you want to read, we also consulted Quora for the key takeaways that you need to also learn with this discussion.
1. What Are The Best Book Summary Websites? Are Any Of The Paid Sites Worth The Money? Do You Have Any Personal Summaries To Share?
We are glad to answer your question. Some of the best and most popular book summary websites include Book Summary Club, Blinkist, Heroic by Optimize, Nat Eliason, Four Minute Books, 12min.com, Sumizeit, Instaread, ReadinGraphics.com, Animated Book Summaries, Thug Notes, ReadItFor.Me75, GetAbstract, and StoryShots. The paid sites on that list are definitely worth the money. And yes, if we would share any personal summaries about them, it is that they are worth your investment. There are several websites of this kind around, and those are your best bets.
2. What Is The Best App For Reading Book Summaries?
We recommend that you download the StoryShots app. StoryShots is the world's only microlearning app with thousands of free book summaries, already available in text, audio, and get this, animated formats. It is featured globally as one of the best educational apps, and called "very clever" by Steven Pinker, the favorite author of Bill Gates.
How To Read A Book Summary
To cap off our discussion, we will provide a quick rundown of the many ways you can utilize book summary websites.
But before you dive into reading the best book summaries, you must have a plan for reading them. Believe it or not, these summaries will also not fit into your schedule right away. For this reason, determine your reading frequency, set a trigger, build a focused environment, and get reading.
Here is an example: You can set your reading frequency as reading five book summaries per week. You can set your trigger specifically by setting a reminder on your phone. As for creating the environment, it must be free of distractions. Then, an option is to set a reward too.
We live in an information age where we jump from one article to another because there are just lots of them. But this is no way to accelerate your learning. You must have focused time blocks to read what matters.
You can find a lot of the best free book summary websites around, and since they are such, many of them are offering a free trial, without any monetary commitment on your end. Whether you want to immerse yourself in non-fiction books or want to read book reviews, perhaps you wish to read book summaries, these websites and summary apps that provide summaries and free summaries of the best books around shall be your way to.
Without a doubt, books are still some of the best sources of learning. Now that you know where you can find the best summaries of them, it is now your turn to find your way through life, one book summary at a time. Time to read.