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May the Fourth be with you, fellow nerds! Don't forget to enter the Avegant Glyph giveaway if you haven't already. Because everyone needs a portable personal theater!
You know all those awesome-sounding nonfiction books you want to read, but never actually have time to read? There's an app for that.
It's called Instaread, and it gives you the key insights and takeaways from over 500 books -- with more added every month.
Normally it runs $4.99 per month, or $49.99 annually, but for a limited time you can get a one-year Instaread subscription for $24.99. Think this is the service you've been waiting for all your life? Then consider the lifetime subscription for $49.99.
Before I go any further, I should point out that the app is currently available for iOS only. The Instaread home page has a sign-up to get notified when an Android version is available, but there's no indication when that will be. Bummer.
Similar in spirit to Cliff's Notes, Instaread distills books down to their core elements, the idea being to give you a summary of the good stuff. Take something like John Gray's seminal "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus," or Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." Do you really want to read those in their entirety just to learn the important points? Instaread gives you an easily digestible summary, something you can polish off in minutes.
Cooler still, these summaries are available in both text and audio form, so if you'd rather listen during your daily commute, now you have that option.
Although the focus is on nonfiction, Instaread does offer some fiction titles as well -- handy, perhaps, if you didn't have time to read this month's book-club book but still want to go to the meeting. Here's a list of the 500-plus titles currently available.
There's also value here in deciding whether a particular book is worth buying and reading in its entirety. You might have some interest in, say, Tim Ferris' "The 4-Hour Workweek," but aren't sure about the investment of time and money. After consuming the summary, you should have a much better idea.
I particularly like this for consuming business and health books, so you can quickly walk away with the essential info and spare yourself the fluff that tends to accompany most of them.
Cool, right? Nearly 50 users think so: The app has a 4.5-star average rating on iTunes.
Bonus deal: It's not only May the Fourth, but also World Password Day -- which is apparently a thing. (I wonder what the Earth uses for its password. Th1rdR0ckFr0mTh35un?) If you still haven't adopted a password manager, well, seriously, why the heck not? Do you like login hassles and identity theft? If it's a money thing, check this out: You can get one year of Sticky Password Premium for free when you download and activate the software before May 7. The license includes priority support.
Of course, after that first year is up, you'll be on the hook for $29.99 for each additional year. Prefer to just pay once and be done? I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I recommend this option: a lifetime subscription to Sticky Password Premium for $29.99. That's an insanely good deal on this top-rated solution.