Is getAbstract worth it? What are its pros and cons? How does it compare to other book summary apps? How good are their book summaries? How’s the experience of the app? We’ll answer all of these questions and more in our getAbstract review.
It’ll cover all you need to know about the getAbstract book summary app. By the end of this post, you’ll know if this app is worth your time and how it compares to other book summary services like Blinkist.
Table of Contents
- getAbstract Review Summary (FAQ)
- getAbstract Overview
- How does getAbstract work?
- getAbstract Features and User Experience
- getAbstract Selection
- What are the highest-rated books on getAbstract?
- How much does getAbstract cost? (getAbstract Pricing and Plans)
- Blinkist vs getAbstract
- Final Verdict: Is getAbstract worth it?
getAbstract Review Summary (FAQ)
- Is getAbstract worth it? There’s no doubt that getAbstract has the biggest library of summaries. But when it comes to the quality of the summaries Blinkist is a clear winner. However, if you’re looking to collect more summaries to learn about a topic from different perspectives faster, getAbstract may be a better choice for you.
- Does getAbstract offer a free version? GetAbstract offers a 1-year free membership to students. You’ll need to provide proof of your enrollment to claim your membership. For all other individuals, getAbstract offers a 3-day trial.
- How’s the user experience of getAbstract app? The app is fairly easy to use and understand. The simple interface lets you navigate the app features with no difficulty. If you’re an avid phone or desktop user, you’ll probably have no trouble using the app.
- How many summaries does getAbstract have? The starter plan comes with 5000 summaries and the pro plan comes with 20,000+ summaries. But not all summaries are book summaries. Their big library also includes summaries of articles, videos, and reports.
- What’s the pricing of getAbstract app? GetAbstract has two main plans — Starter Plan and Pro Plan. The Starter Plan is $99/year and the Pro Plan is $299/year. For more details on the plans check out the pricing section of this guide.
- How does getAbstract compare with Blinkist? GetAbstract is targeted more towards professionals and business people while Blinkist offers more variety among nonfiction books. For the full breakdown of the comparison, check out the Blinkist vs getAbstract section of this guide.
Established in 1999, getAbstract is one of the oldest book summary apps. They have the biggest collection of summaries so far. They not only provide summaries of books, but they also cover summaries of informative articles, reports, and videos, like TED talks.
While reading book summaries does have pros and cons in and of itself, today we’ll focus on finding the best book summary app for you if you’re already convinced that book summaries apps can be a great addition to your learning arsenal.
How does getAbstract work?
getAbstract is available on the web, iOS, and Android. The app is free but you’ll need a subscription plan to access its content after the 3-day trial period. You can register using your email, Facebook, Twitter or Xing account.
The interface of the app is simple and easy to understand. Although I wouldn’t say it’s overly impressive, it gives you everything you need for clarity and usability. I never felt confused and anyone who knows how to use a normal app or PC would find it easy to use. With that, let’s look at how the getAbstract app works.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll find 5 tabs at the bottom of your screen namely: Home, Explore, Search, My Library and Profile. Let’s find out what you get in these tabs one by one.
1. The Home Tab
The home tab of the app includes the following section one after another as you scroll down.
- Recommended for you – A personalized recommendation section based on your interests and history.
- Featured channels – Channels are the topics you can follow. This section shows you the top featured channels that you may want to follow or browse. When you browse a channel, you can see a small description, related channels and the books within that topic.
- Editors Pick – The curators pick their favorite summaries and display them in this section. If you’re still looking for more, you can click view all beside the section you want to find the perfect summary to read or listen to.
2. The Explore Tab
The explore tab shows you even more options. It helps you find new summaries. It has the following sections:
- Trending Channels – This section displays the trending channels you may be interested in.
- Latest Summaries – This section lets you see the latest summaries uploaded to the platform.
- Popular Summaries – Find out the most popular summaries people are reading.
- Library (with topics) – Display of the whole library with all the topics the app provides.
3. The Search Tab
If you’re looking for a particular summary, you can search for it here. Here, you’ll also find trending searches people are using that you may also want to use.
4. My Library Tab
The “My Library” tab is a personalized tab which is unique to everyone (based on your activity in the app). It has the following sections:
- Playlist – You can add summaries to the playlist to read or listen to next. You will find all the summaries you add here. Note that audio is part of the Starter Plan, but organizing audios in playlists is reserved for Pro users.
- Read later – You can save summaries to read or listen to later. You can find them in this section. You can also download these summaries for offline use if you’re on the Pro Plan.
- Liked (downloadable) – Once you like a summary, it’ll show up here, think of it as a Favorites folder.
- Reading history – You can see the history of all the summaries you read here.
- Sent to you – You’ll find all the summaries sent to you by other users in this section.
- My channel – You can create your own channel for organizing summaries. This is another Pro Plan feature.
- Following – Here, you’ll see all the channels that you already follow.
When you click “view all” on any of the sections, you can see all books in it and you can filter the selection based on language, type (book, article, video) and audio availability.
5. The Profile Tab
You can also change the settings such as display language, notification settings, day/night mode, the language of the content, types of summaries you want the app to display (books, videos, or articles) and toggle to display only titles with audio.
One of the best things about getAbstract is the languages it supports. While its competitor Blinkist supports only two languages – English and German – many of getAbstract’s summaries are available in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, German, and Russian. If you speak any of these languages or want to use the app for learning a new one, it might be a great investment because of this factor alone.
getAbstract Features and User Experience
Now let’s look at how it feels to read the summaries in the app. When you open a summary, you’ll find these sections one after another as you scroll down to the bottom.
- Recommendation – The first section gives a small review and recommendation that tells you what the book is about. It sets expectations for what you’re about to read in the summary.
- Takeaways – They highlight the key takeaways from the book. This section helps when you want to scan the top lessons from the book and decide if the summary is worth reading. It also helps when you’re reading already (or have in the past) and want to quickly revisit the key lessons of the summary.
- Summary – This is the actual summary part where they use headings, boldfaced text, and quotes to make it easier to read or scan the summary. The summaries are often short and concise. The upside is that you consume a lot of dense information in less time. The downside is that you miss a lot of information from the books due to the short length of the summaries.
- About the author – They finish each summary with a little information about the author in case you’re interested in knowing more about him or her.
- More on this topic – At the end of each summary, they suggest similar summaries you may be interested in reading.
Some other features include:
- Display preference – When you tap the icon on the top left of the screen, you can change the display according to your preference. They provide white, cream, and black colors as themes. Other than that, you can change the brightness and the size of the text.
- Audio feature – Most books come with audio summaries, but some books don’t have prerecorded audios. But the app still offers an option to use the text-to-speech feature where you can listen to summaries in a robotic voice. However, I found that when I used the text-to-speech feature on my phone, the app stopped narrating when I left the phone idle. This doesn’t happen while listening to prerecorded audio summaries and may depend on what kind of phone you have.
- Rating, liking, commenting – Curators at getAbstract rate the summaries on a scale of 1 to 10, and users can like or comment on the summaries. They also highlight the key qualities of the book such as “applicable”, “innovative”, “evergreen”, and “bestseller”, “concrete examples”, and so on. These features help you decide which summary to read.
- Read later, share, download – You can also download or add a summary to your playlist or your “read later” list. Lastly, you can share the summaries on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or via email.
As explained in the pricing section later in the guide, the number of summaries you have access to depends on your plan, but no matter which plan you choose, you’ll still have the biggest summary collection out of any book summary app on the market.
You’ll find several channels (topics) to follow, but here are the key topics you can find in the library section of the explore tab:
- Life Advice
- Professional Development
- Project Management
- Human Resources
- Corporate IT
- Corporate Finance
On exploring further, here are some more channels you may find interesting:
- Job Search
- Future of Work
- The MBA
- Soft Skills
- Woman’s Careers
- Leading Teams
- Making Decisions
- Being CEO
- Starting a Business
- Small Business
- Health & Fitness
- Work-Life Balance
- Time Management
- Speak, Write, Present
- Boost Your Personal Productivity
- Learning Techniques
- Goal Setting
- Artificial Intelligence
- Financial Markets
- Climate Change
There are too many channels to list all of them, but this list is a good overview to get an idea of the topics you can explore.
When you go to a channel, you can follow the channel, find more related channels, and see summaries within that channel. You can sort these summaries by Relevancy, Recency, and Popularity.
You can also filter the summaries by books with audio available only, their sources (books, articles or videos), and languages the summaries are available in.
What are the highest-rated books on getAbstract?
Since there are 5,000+ summaries on getAbstract, it’s hard to list the best summaries on the platform. However, these are some good ones to start with as they are all rated 9 or 10 by getAbstract. You can access all these book summaries with your free 3-day trial.
- The Effective Executive: A must-read book for all executives as it’s a business classic. After reading this book, the way you manage will change forever.
- Deep Work: In a world where it’s getting harder to focus, this book teaches you how to focus and eliminate distractions so you can do the valuable work that requires tons of mental energy.
- The Now Habit: If you struggle with procrastination, this book will come to your rescue as it contains timeless principles to help you overcome procrastination.
- Mastering Leadership: Leadership is not an easy skill to master. This book combines data, science, psychology, theology, and philosophy to help you master leadership.
- Nudge: It teaches you how humans fall prey to systematic errors of judgment and how you can design your environment to make better decisions.
- Eat That Frog: A productivity classic that will help you get more done in less time. It will push you to tackle the most important tasks you may tend to avoid.
- Man’s Search For Meaning: As the name suggests, it’s a memoir of a man who found meaning in hardship and suffering using “logotherapy”. It continues to inspire millions around the world.
- Invisible Influence: There are a lot of hidden forces that influence us. If you’re curious about how other people shape your thoughts, purchases, and actions, it’s a great pick!
- In Search Of Excellence: A collection of stories about the qualities of the best-run companies in America in 1980. The timeless lessons are still applicable today.
- Competitive Advantage: It teaches you how to gain a competitive advantage in your business using fundamentals such as value chains, costs, differentiation, technology, substitution, synergies, etc.
What you can also do is compare some of these summaries with their counterparts that we have as free book summaries on Four Minute Books. Contrasting material about the same topic is a great way to learn and remember more.
How much does getAbstract cost? (getAbstract Pricing and Plans)
GetAbstract comes with a 3-day trial period which gives you full access to the app. Then, you can choose from the following plans:
The Starter Plan
GetAbstract’s pricing for the starter pack (with 5000 summaries) is $99/year or 99 € if you’re in Europe. It’s a bit more expensive than Blinkist, which comes in at around $80/year.
The upside is that you get access to more book summaries than Blinkist. The downside is that you still can’t access some topics with this plan and some features like creating a playlist, downloading for offline use, sending to kindle and creating personal channels are missing.
The bottom line is that if you want to access more, but shorter book summaries and don’t mind paying $19 more per year, this plan is perfect for you. If you want fewer but more in-depth summaries, Blinkist may be the better option.
The Pro Plan
The Pro plan comes with 20,000+ summaries for $299 or € per year. It gives you access to all the topics for personal and professional development.
The upside to this plan is that you get all the features of the app and you unlock all summaries. The downside is that it’s three times more expensive than the Starter Plan.
If you’re looking for the largest collection of book summaries to advance your career and grow as a person, this may be the best plan for you. Maybe, you can get your employer to chip in? But if you can, the next plan may be even better.
The Enterprise Plan
This last plan is for companies that are looking to fuel their employees or team with a lifelong learning platform. This is best for companies that want to support their employee’s growth and make them more efficient as a person and in their expertise. It includes every feature of the other plans, along with the following:
- Customized company portal
- Curated and company channels
- API access, custom SSO & LMS integration
- Dedicated learning consultant
- Advanced reporting
The pricing in this tier depends on the needs of the company, so you’ll need to contact getAbstract if you’re looking to make this investment for your team. Technically, these are all the available plans, but getAbstract has a few special offers for students. Let’s see what they are!
The Student Plan
This is a bonus plan for Students, which is great if you’re an ambitious student who wants to get ahead. All you’ll need is a valid student ID to prove that you’re enrolled as a student.
They have two plans for students: Student Starter, which is free, and Student Pro, which costs $59/year. The former is basically a 1-year free trial of the regular Starter Plan and comes with 5,000 summaries which you can access online and in the app. The latter provides 20,000+ summaries and the additional Pro features like sending summaries to Kindle, creating audio playlists, etc.
The Gift Plan
This is the last pricing plan. It allows you to gift a getAbstract subscription to someone. You can gift the Starter or the Pro Plan, and they cost the same as they normally would ($99/year and $299/year respectively). This is a great option for anyone who wants to give the gift of knowledge to someone they love.
There are a lot of book summary services out there, but getAbstract is most often compared to Blinkist. So let’s see who wins in which category!
- Blinkist has a broader selection of topics, but getAbstract has books in even niche business categories. For example, on Blinkist, topics include personal growth, science, history, relationships, business, parenting, philosophy, psychology, health, biography, and so on. GetAbstract is more focused on business, entrepreneurship, leadership, management, career, and productivity, but also caters to rarer topics within those areas.
- GetAbstract offers more summaries than Blinkist but Blinkist’s book summaries are more thorough and in-depth. Keep in mind that the relevancy of topics you’re interested in matters more than the number of summaries you get.
- Blinkist provides long-form summaries of books whereas getAbstract provides shorter summaries. However, getAbstract includes summaries from more mediums including books, articles, reports, and videos.
- GetAbstract helps you decide which book summaries to read, Blinkist doesn’t. GetAbstract uses ratings, likes, and comments, which help you make up your mind. Blinkist doesn’t have this feature. However, you can of course always check other ratings and reviews of any book online, for example on Goodreads or Amazon.
- Blinkist’s user experience feels like it flows a bit more, and the quality of audios is slightly better.
- GetAbstract’s full experience is more expensive than Blinkist’s. If you want to unlock all features and summaries, getAbstract Pro is almost six times as expensive as Blinkist, given you use our 20% discount for it. However, if you’re a student and can get the Student Pro plan, you’ll pay even less than for Blinkist, but get access to 20,000 summaries!
If you’re still unsure which one you prefer, you can activate the 3-day free trial of getAbstract and the 7-day free trial of Blinkist at the same time, use both for 10-30 minutes each day, and then ultimately go with the one that suits your needs better.
Final Verdict: Is getAbstract worth it?
GetAbstract is a fantastic book summary app for lifelong learners and high achievers. It is more expensive than its competitors, but it may be your best choice if:
- You want to binge read summaries of books on a particular topic. Since the summaries are short, getAbstract makes it easier for you to get the main points from a large collection of books on one topic.
- You’re a professional who wants to own the app with the biggest collection of summaries. You want to read summaries of books, articles, videos, and reports in bite-sized chunks on a regular basis.
- You’d like to check ratings, the number of likes, recommendations, and key takeaways before diving into a summary.
- You want to read summaries in French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. The summaries are also available in English and German, but for now, those five languages are exclusive to getAbstract.
To conclude, getAbstract is one of the oldest book summaries apps out there with the biggest collection of book summaries. But due to the volume of summaries they have, their service can be expensive compared to its peers and their summaries sometimes lack depth. As with any book summary service, I suggest you use it as an extension of reading books, not a replacement.
If you’ve enjoyed this review, I’d appreciate it if you use my special link to sign up for your free trial of getAbstract. In case you choose to stay, I get a small commission for referring you. If not, no biggie. There’s no risk or extra cost to you.
No matter how you decide, thank you for reading this review and I hope Four Minute Books will continue to help you become smarter in the future.