Instaread Review: Best Reading App For Minimalism?

Do you wish you had more time to read but find it impossible to do so? Ever thought there was a place for you to get key insights and points from a book? There is now an easy way to do that. That’s where the Instaread app comes in handy. In this Instaread review, I’ll discuss the benefits of having more time to read and listen to book summaries.


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What Is Instaread?

Instaread is a reading and audio app that summaries books in 10-20 minutes (sometimes longer). For this service, it basically boils down to collecting books and understanding “what you need to know”. Or put another way, how you can keep learning new skills to adapt to an ever-changing world.

Founded in 2014, it’s one of the most well-known apps and continues to do well compared to its competitors. But one thing that stands out with Instaread is they have a large collection of both fiction and nonfiction works. Some apps such as Blinkist only provide summaries of nonfiction works.

There are a number of individuals who prefer reading fiction books. So it’s good that Instaread expands their collection to not only nonfiction works, but contain both fiction and nonfiction summaries as well. Having a mix of the two makes it a well-worth app to have on hand.

The Solution For Super-Busy People- Instaread

How Does The Instaread App Work?

Basically, you can download the Instaread app via your mobile phone, or a web browser via a desktop. Or, you can sign in to your account through their website.

Once signed in, there are a few tabs in the upper-right-hand corner of the page. They include the following:

Instaread review: This post runs a deep dive into a reading app known as Instaread. This app is well-known for having a large collection of fiction and nonfiction works.


You can do a random search for an author or book title. Not all book titles are available, but you’ll find one that’s relevant.

Instaread review: As with most services, Instaread has a “Search” bar for looking up collections and titles.


This page shows current selections to choose from or top recommendations on what to read or listen to.

Instaread review: Oftentimes, Instaread will usually put out a daily pick to read. It’s often known as their top recommendation feed on what to read next.


This page is your current collection of books you’ve read or maybe currently reading. Here is my current reading list.

Instaread review: Instaread allows you to have a number of collections to read or listen to.

Instaread has some good features, especially when it comes to having multiple options for consuming book summaries.

Audio & text formats

It comes in an easy-to-use format to read or listen to summaries. When you’re listening on the go, it’s convenient to have a good format for listening to books.

Instaread review: The design is easy to use when using the app. Here’s the image when you’re reading or listening to a book summary.
Instaread Key Insight 2

Also, Instaread can be used on multiple devices, including desktop, tablet, and mobile versions.

Thousands of titles

Although their library is not as large compared to similar apps, Instaread has thousands of titles to choose from in nonfiction and fiction categories. Some of their categories include:

  • Business & economics
  • Social sciences
  • Self help
  • History
  • Health & fitness

Along with their primary features, they have special ones that make the app stand out. One of them is Instaread originals, where the team provides original readings on topics of interest. 

Instaread originals are tied to a specific subject matter (i.e. blockchain technology) and current events. Also, they have success stories from notable people, including Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Oprah Winfrey.

Instaread review: Instaread has a section known as “Instaread Originals”. This collection features the most notable people, along with common success tips.

There’s another section where you can read external articles within the Instaread app. You can read or listen to professionally-recorded articles from other sources. Some of these articles come from well-known sources such as the New York Times and the Harvard Business Review.

You’ll need to download the articles to make the most out of this feature, but it’s a good one to have. You can listen offline at any time, and you have the ability to switch from audio to text versions.

Who is Instaread designed for?

As with similar apps, Instaread is designed for those with a busy lifestyle. There are a lot of people who have a desire to learn more about different topics but may not have the time.

Instaread can help professionals looking to learn new skills, or strengthen current ones to help advance their careers. There are a lot of readings in regards to professional development, so that can help people improve their skill set.

Also, Instaread can help entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses to the next level. Whether that’s more tips or something related to business growth, there are some great reads on business and entrepreneurship.

Can Instaread make your business more efficient?

Instaread provides opportunities for businesses to grow to the next level. For example, there are options that they can help with investing in their teams. 

There are business plans that companies can consider, and their employees can take advantage of the time to learn and read more books. If you’re interested in offering something to your team, check out their options for more details.

Instaread can help businesses by doing the following:

a.) Reading faster

  • By getting the key insights and analysis, individuals are able to capture the main points of a book or article.

b.) Learning quickly

  • Learning a new skill can take time, but it can be done effectively. That’s why the book summaries usually range between 15-20 minutes- just enough to get through the key points. Also, it helps to stay updated on the latest concepts and trends.


Instaread starts with a 7-day free trial to check out the app or website. After the 7 days are over, there are a few options to choose from.

Monthly PlanAnnual PlanLifetime Plan
$8.99/month$7.49/month ($89.99/year)$299.99 (One-time Purchase)
Prices Accurate As of June 2022

All plans come with the following:

  • Unlimited instareads in audio or text formats
  • Thousands of high-quality titles
  • New Instareads are added regularly

If you sign up for a plan, you may get a discount as well. For example, I was able to get a 10% discount when I first signed up for a subscription.

Instaread review: This post goes over another reading app known as Instaread. Instaread has a large selection of books to read or listen to.

So if you wanted to take advantage of saving for a yearly plan, that might be a great choice for the first year using Instaread. Also, it’s possible you might get a deep discount if you were to cancel before the end of your free trial.

For example, I know someone who was not interested in purchasing a plan during their free trial. When they went to cancel, Instaread offered him a 50% discount for an annual plan. 

It was a one-time offer that was valid for the first year, and a steep discount as well. So if you decide to not continue with a paid subscription, it’s possible you might get a bigger discount to continue using the app.

Pros & Cons


  • Large selection of fiction & nonfiction books
  • User interface friendly-easy to use
  • All summaries are available in audio version


  • Some of the summaries do not cover crucial points from the books
  • Customer support is ok (some reports of refunds not being issued properly)
  • Book overviews on several topics tend to be biased (one-sided on some issues)

Is Instaread Worth It?

Rating: 3.5/5

Instaread is another neat app for reading or listening to book summaries. As far as being a minimalist product (as asked in the post title), the user interface is simple to use. Using the app is easy and not distracting as you navigate through the features.

Another thing to point out is at the end of each summary, Instaread provides the author’s perspective about the topic of a book. Sometimes, they’ll give a brief explanation of the author’s process of writing the book. In terms of the author’s perspective, they added what their opinion of the topic is, as well as what the purpose of a summary is.

One problem with Instaread recently is their customer support. There have been customer complaints about not getting refunds issued to their accounts.

For instance, I know someone personally who signed up for a free trial. I was told they had canceled, but somehow they were still charged for a monthly membership. It took some time to get it all worked out, but still, it was a headache for that person to go through.

Also, some of their perspectives can be biased and one-sided. That can turn off readers who are looking for a balanced review or an unbiased evaluation. I know that was the situation when I reviewed some of the summaries, and why I gave Instaread a lower rating for this review.

Final Words

Instaread has been one of the top apps for people to get more time for reviewing summaries. Its minimalist design is what makes it unique. Another reason is that they have fiction and nonfiction offerings. So that’s another thing that people can appreciate about this app.

If you feel it’s worth checking out, you can sign up today for a free 7-day trial. If you find it worthwhile and love it, they do have the option of a lifetime membership. But if not, you can move toward a flexible plan (monthly) or do an annual one as well.

Your Turn: Is Instaread worth having to earn more reading time?

I would like to know your thoughts about Instaread. Do you like that they have a collection of both fiction and nonfiction books? 

What features do you like the most? Is it the Instaread originals, or do you appreciate the simplicity of using the app?

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading them, and I’ll gladly respond back promptly.

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Eric is the owner and chief editor of 

He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. 

Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. 

“Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” 

In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. 

You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.

Self Photo 2019: Here's a picture at a building in downtown Chicago.

4 thoughts on “Instaread Review: Best Reading App For Minimalism?”

  1. Hi Eric

    Thanks for your detailed review! I did not know about this type of app before but I am sure it is helpful for a lot of people having busy lifestyles. These days, there are so many books written and our timeframe is still the same, so having someone summarize the content for us before we decide to give it a thorough read is really convenient. 

    Thanks again,


    • Hi Grace,

      Instaread is one of those apps that a lot of people are not aware of. Luckily, it’s starting to become more known and competing with other services.

      You make a great point about so many books available in the marketplace. However, with just key insights and summary points, Instaread is a great app for solving that problem.

      Also, having options for reading and listening to every book selection makes it easier for customers. Not all reading apps have that feature, but Instaread happens to have that available.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re much appreciated. I look forward to seeing you come back soon.

  2. I have heard about that app a few weeks ago and I raised an eyebrow. This app is interesting. I like that you can get the key insights and points of a book in just a few minutes. 

    This service is perfect if you want to know what’s in a particular “How-to-book” and in a hurry. But I still wonder if this app is any good if you want to know more about a book talking about a more complex topic: like social science, philosophy or science. 

    Maybe- that’s why I want to try this app. The price is just right. Great review.

    • Hi,

      Instaread has some neat features to make the most out of a membership. The key insights portion, and the Instaread originals are what I love the most about this app.

      Regarding your concern, I agree with you when it comes to shorter reads on complex issues. Sometimes, it’s not suitable to summarize a complex topic in 20 minutes or less.

      So I can see why that can be a drawback, or maybe something to improve on the product. That may be something the service will look into improving at some point.

      I encourage you to try it out if it’s a great fit. You never know if you’ll love the app or not, so it’s worth giving it a try.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts- I greatly appreciate it.


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