Instaread lets you read books on your phone while your partner shops for boring stuff


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So… you pay money to get to browse books? Seems legit.


So, you can pay for the privilege of reading descriptions of books on your phone instead of reading books on your phone?



Essentially, instaread is a library of book reports.

Instaread’s instructions to reviewers contains a sample report for

(I don’t find the style gripping, but then again, I don’t subscribe to NYRB, either)


So it’s like… Amazon’s book section except you pay to access the descriptions?


When I was in high school, this was called CliffsNotes. And they had an unmistakable yellow cover that any teacher could spot at 50 yards.


Who has time for digestible takeaways anymore? Hire those people to summarize the Instaread editions for you! Now that’s being proactive!


Must have more modern/recently published content than say wikipedia…because wikipedia is basically this for any publication popular enough to hit some threshold isn’t it? Wikipedia also includes movies, shows, etc.


now they hide on your cell phone. I can’t find any instaread summaries of books I’ve actually read-- except for

A brief history of Time, which was unenlightening.

But surely some boingboingers have read Sander’s Our Revolution? I’m more of a neoliberal myself :wink:


I guess you youngsters have never heard of Readers’ Digest Condensed Books.

Years back, a good friend snagged a Condensed version of Ulysses. I understand it’s a rare collectors item.


My grandparents subscribed to those! Typically couple of months or so they’d get a book roughly the size of a normal novel that would have three or four books condensed to about 100 pages each. Which was kind of weird – I can see the point of a summary of a few pages to get the general idea of a book, but these took serious time to read but obviously couldn’t have the depth of the full novel.


Readers Digest used (some) of the author’s own words. Instaread doesn’t

Summaries must be in the writer’s own words. Even when the book is technical, refrain from using the author’s language unless a term is of the author’s coinage and used at first appearance in “scare quotes.”

And here, the copy writer misuses the term. Nothing scary about quotation marks.

This looks like a service for people who are pressured to read books, but won’t make the time.I’m thinking management.


I was thinking it’s for the cocktail party set, if such a thing still exists, so you can pretend to have read the must-read books that everyone else is pretending to have read. How fucking pointless.


I guess.

I’m not sure what the point of this instaread is:

If you don’t recognize the title, please turn in your nerd card.


They probably even feature books by people who are still alive. Oh, the humanities.


Yeah, that description is something you might give to a nine year old.

The. Entire. Book. Boiled down into nine year old terms.

Readers Digest Condensed Books were real books cut down to about half length or so. These are just shitty descriptions of books.

That Randall Munroe gives otherwise boring facts personality and character? That books are more than their content, but also the way that content is delivered? That Instaread is a fundamentally bad idea?


I read “Lifetime subscription” and I think “They’re not planning to keep this around very long, are they?”


@MarjaE was telling me about S&T’s lifetime subscription.

When TSR purchased SPI in 1982, the company did not honor lifetime subscriptions to Strategy & Tactics.[1]:14 SPI unfortunately had no assets to its name when the takeover occurred, but there were over 1,000 subscribers who had made a significant payment (in c. 1978 terms) for a “lifetime subscription” to S&T, meaning that they were entitled to all future issues without any further payment. These subscribers were informed that their subscriptions would not be honored. People who had placed pre-release, paid, orders for certain games that had been in development were informed that they would receive neither the game they had paid for nor a refund of the money they had paid for it. TSR saved money in the short term, but alienated its best customers.


Whoever writes your ad copy is terrible. The voice is so different from your normal posts. I guess it’s helpful to flag ‘Ad!’ but it really turns me off all the products.


My fist thought was “Reader’s Digest 2.0”, but looking at that sample, it’s way below that. I’m not sure why it’s of any benefit when ebooks exist, unless you read slowly but must keep up with many books
As a kid I never realised that the RD stuff was abridged, but I ended up reading quite a few books like that from my grandparents’ collection.