Joosr is an App Which Turns Books into 15-Minute Reads – What, Another One?

5427314968_5a3027970d_bThe Guardian has the tale of yet another startup which is trying to break into the condensed books market:

Is this reading or “reading”? An app called Joosr, which aims to help users read a book in 20 minutes, has just been launched in the UK. Initially, this horrified me. I ranted that we had lost our ability to concentrate, that authors’ words are sacred. But then I looked at what the app was actually doing and realised it could be a good idea.

The app has more than 100 nonfiction books in a radically condensed format available on a subscription. Think self-help bestsellers like Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning and dense science texts like A Brief History of Time (sorry Dr Hawking, I did try). With the first type of book, readers can pick out useful tips without wading through pages of case studies; with the latter, a briefer version might be the only way to get information to stick.

Along with Citia and Blinkist, this is at least the third company to take the digital approach to condensed study guides. Citia has already bailed on the market (they pivoted in 2014) but the two-year-old Blinkist is still giving it a go.

And of course CliffsNotes and SparkNotes still publish condensed ebooks, but both of those companies have the dual advantage of retail distribution of their print books (and of course SparkNotes is owned by B&N, which is another huge advantage).

Is anyone else surprised that startups are still entering this market?

I am.

Condensed books like this fall into a category of non-fiction content can be easily found online for free. You would think that this type of content would suffer the same market pressure as encyclopedias, which are dying out thanks to Wikipedia and other freely available web content, but no.

Even though these types of study guides are only a Google search away, companies are still getting into this market. Is that optimism, poor advance research, or am I missing something about the market landscape?

image by bionicteaching

About Nate Hoffelder (11463 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on Joosr is an App Which Turns Books into 15-Minute Reads – What, Another One?

  1. Irene Fenswick // 29 June, 2016 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    Dear Nate, I’m surprised too about the brief study guides’ development. According to psychologists’ researches readers are attracted by voluminous writings with many pages. Simply put – more pages more knowledge. But time is money by the other side. Many readers confirm this data and try to find a way out of this difficult situation. One possible way to increase reading productivity is a speed reading technique as a variant. But whatever they may say the best book’s summary is a summary made by your own hand.

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