Bibliophiles on a budget may have some good news on the way: a burgeoning startup is getting ready to hit the literary world with Spotify-style book service Oyster. A yet-to-be-determined monthly fee will give the voracious readers of the world unlimited access to Oyster’s library.
The launch date remains a mystery, but we do know that its first rendition is coming in the form of an iPhone app. No word about a version for other platforms, although we can’t imagine why at least an Android version wouldn’t be released eventually.
Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library basically the same thing, but it’s restricted to Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime account in the US. And its selection of rentable books is notoriously terrible. Publishers and authors are generally delighted by anything that could cut into the retail giant’s inordinate success, so that collective distaste may just be enough to give Oyster a fighting chance.
Of course, without knowing how much Oyster plans to charge — or how broad its selection will be — it’s hard to say whether it will be worth it. There’s also the question of how much demand there is for a service like this in the first place. Spotify might serve well to soundtrack our lives, but reading takes a bit more attention; there are only so many books we can consume in a month. We’ll see just how promising the service is as soon as its website offers more than just the option to sign up for an invitation. [Oyster via Business Insider]