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No Time to Read? Read This

Mohseni, Alex, MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000550370.74825.7f
Doc ApprovED

Dr. Mohseniis an emergency physician, telemedicine provider with CirrusMD, and the editor of his own blog, Follow him on Twitter @amohseni, and read his past EMN columns at



Many friends and colleagues have recently lamented to me that they no longer have time to read books, and, in fact, even when they do have time, they find it difficult to read long-form writing for extended periods. This phenomenon is sad and concerning, surely a product of the overwhelming avalanche of clickbaity micro-aliquots of stress-inducing news and notifications fed to us by our omnipresent devices. The problem is even more acute with emergency physicians, whose career performance depends on their ability to mimic rabbits on crack while on shift.

Enter Blinkist, a modern-day digital CliffsNotes, offering written and audio summaries of more than 2,500 of the best nonfiction titles available on mobile or the web. Most Blinkist summaries can be read in 15-20 minutes, and do a good job highlighting the key points from each title. I have found these summaries a great way to browse new topics, efficiently glean key points, and decide whether it is worth diving deeper. I have also found them a good way to remind me of books I read in full before. Most titles include audio summaries, which are a great way to fill your commute with some learning time.

Obviously, a book summary loses all the context and nuance that make reading so enjoyable, so this solution is more for the hyper-efficient doer who seeks maximum learning in minimum time. Nonetheless, Blinkist is still a step in the right direction for those who want to extract themselves from the abyss of our stressful news and entertainment cycles. Watch a video of how it works: A yearly subscription is $6.67 a month, a monthly is $12.99 a month. The site also offers a free seven-day trial at

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